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Martí Anson

Walt & Travis. Cinema version, 2003

Video | DVD | color | sound



Walt & Travis (2003), by Martí Anson, is a film that stays completely faithful to the conventions and formats of road movies, except that the artist indulges in recreating all of those moments or situations that would never appear in a regular road movie. Anson works with photography, video and installation.

The experience of the spectator is essential in the work of Martí Anson. Often, spectators are confronted by irritating situations, or simply find their expectations dashed.

Walt & Travis (2003)is a film shot in the United States that stays completely faithful to the conventions and formats of road movies. The artist himself explains: “When the Wexner Center for the Arts, in Columbus, Ohio, proposed that I do a project for them, I couldn’t avoid a kind of identification with European filmmakers who had worked in the United States. Curiously, many of them had made references to American cinematic conventions, such as the road movie. Once the script was written, the work consisted of the way in which it was filmed. The two main reference points when working on the film were: Paris, Texas by Wim Wenders and Two-Lane Blacktop by Monte Hellman. Shots from Walt & Travis were literally copied from Paris, Texas. For me, that was the first time that I stopped working like the early filmmakers, fascinated by the image of anything that moved and which could afterwards be repeated”.

Already, in some of his first videos, such as Invitation to Wait, The Goalkeeper’s Fear of the Penalty and i have been there, Anson stuck to his guidelines of placing the camera in one direction and shooting in a single isolated shot, keeping to the rules of place, time and action.

Anson went on: “I was inspired by Monte Hellman’s film when shooting sequences for the film. Once the locations had been decided on, the filming always took place on the same road. The car always came and went in the same place, the landscape you see through the window is always the same, like in cartoon chases where you can always see the same background repeated time and again.

“The music in the film was by Cisco Ordoñez, who based his compositions on Ry Cooder’s soundtrack for Paris, Texas”.

However, in contrast to the road movies he took as a reference point, Anson emphasises and recreates all of those moments and situations that never appear in a regular road movie, such as, for example, the monotony present when the characters are sitting in the car without speaking, or the moment when the cars are sitting waiting at a level crossing for a train to pass. The artist also breaks with every other convention, given that within the same scene, characters appear wearing different shirts. In making the ordinary strange, and breaking with everything we are accustomed to, Anson makes us question everything that appears set in stone.

Montse Badia


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