Script: Franco is Still Dead

Multi-channel Video and Soundscape Installation Artwork (00:14:16). Dimensions Variable. Re-cut here as single channel video for web viewing. Script: Franco is Still Dead (SFISD) is part 2 of the Madrid Trilogy Ghost Transmissions.

A collaboration by interdisciplinary Artist Ann Burke Daly (NY, ES) and musician Alvaro Marcos (Madrid, ES). SFISD was originally created for installation in a 45 ft x 65 ft, two story, brick industrial building, for projection directly onto the walls. The four video channels are staged as separate projections, with three stereo sound sources around the space creating a cocooning filmic and sonic environment in the space. The title riffs off of the year long SNL skit by Chevy Chase which began after Dictator Francisco Franco's death in November 1975, in which Chase (in news anchor role) presented various absurd 'reports' that "Generalissimo Francisco Franco is still dead." It initially made sport of the Spanish news reporting about Franco at the end of his life, with Chase's skit becoming increasingly absurd over the next year. Archival footage of the announcement of Franco's death to the Spanish public in 1975 by the Prime Minister Españoles, Franco ha muerto, translated as continuous present tense Spaniards, Franco has died. This brought them through discussion with another creative to the SNL year-long skit. 

The piece was conceptualized as a three part "film script in revision," emphasizing the subjective povs of the artists. It was organized around speech acts, the first described above by Arias Navarro, ending with the chants of the "Indignatos," social movement in 2012, hypothesized as another 'transition.' The three sections are Scene 1 , Interlude, Scene 2 . Scene 1 is comprised of real-time still takes of mass grave sites near Madrid including the Valley of the Fallen. Scene 2 is a montage of real-time still footage of the facades of buildings in the city center of Madrid which were used as detention centers/prisons for political prisoners at the end of the war into the post-war years.  For the "Interlude"- archival film and sound from the era are sampled. The timeframe of sampled archival material is of the transition to democracy, after Franco's death, and La Movida, of roughly the same time period, an urban youth movement which shaped the era's culture including art, music, film, and writing. Sound throughout is quotidian field recordings at the sites filmed layered with archival and other found recordings. Note: The Spanish Civil War or La Guerra Civil began in 1936 and ended with the fall of Madrid in 1939. The long dictatorship lasted from 1939 until Franco's death November 20, 1975.

Conversations and Specters

(Troubled Translation)

Conversations and Specters is Part I of Daly's Madrid Trilogy GHOST TRANSMISSIONS.

Description: Installation work comprised of filmed footage projected in staggered pairs around the exhibition space. Sound is severed from video and is played from separate sound sources. Project dates: 2015–19. Comprised of conversational excerpts as film and sound the project investigates the experience of youth during “the Transition”, between the death of the dictator Franco to nascent Democracy and the era of Movida Madrileña, the Urban Youth Culture of the early 1980s, sometimes called Madrid Punk. Memory, transcription, and editing are all constituted as acts of translation. The position of Daly as 'cultural outsider' and as interlocutor foregrounds ways in which translation and understanding is troubled. Hesitations, and gestures evoke the uncertainties of memory as a form of translation. Conversations and Specters asks whether a cultural haunting has taken place. Ghost Transmissions, the trilogy, while referencing the past, is a meditation on the present and how past is inscribed in the present.

Field Recordings

Project: Half-Life

Half-Life (A Forensics of Plain Sight) is part 3, the final portion of the Madrid Trilogy Ghost Transmissions.

Real-time sound and video footage recorded at three of the six project sites which Daly has worked with for Half-Life. The three sites recorded are 1. an elderly residence, 2. a convent, 3. a parochial school. While Half-Life is created by Daly solo, it was while collaborating with Marcos on SFISD that the history of these buildings in central Madrid was discovered through research. For Marcos living in Madrid for many years since college, and for Daly, who has lived in Madrid for several years and travels there yearly, it was a shock to discover that buildings casually strolled past daily had been sites of incarceration for political prisoners. The convent above is several blocks from where both have lived in Barrio Malasaña. Another two project sites are in the same neighborhood.

Using Format