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Xisela Franco. Interior, exterior, durante. Video still. MARCO Vigo, Spain, 2016. Photo: courtesy of the artist
Xisela Franco. Interior, exterior, durante. Video still. MARCO Vigo, Spain, 2016. Photo: courtesy of the artist
Xisela Franco. Interior, exterior, durante. Video still. MARCO Vigo, Spain, 2016. Photo: courtesy of the artist
Xisela Franco. Interior, exterior, durante. Video still. MARCO Vigo, Spain, 2016. Photo: courtesy of the artist
Xisela Franco. Interior, exterior, durante. Video still. MARCO Vigo, Spain, 2016. Photo: courtesy of the artist
Xisela Franco. Interior, exterior, durante. Video still. MARCO Vigo, Spain, 2016. Photo: courtesy of the artist

XISELA FRANCO. Interior, exterior, in-between. PROBLEMATICS. Artists in the Incomplete Story


23 September 2016 - 8 January 2017
Annex [main hall]
Tuesday to Saturday (including bank holidays) from 11am to 2:30pm and from 5pm to 9pm / Sunday, from 11am to 2:30pm
MARCO, Museo de Arte Contemporánea de Vigo, in collaboration with Unidade de Igualdade, Universidade de Vigo
Chus Martínez Domínguez

On the occasion of the opening day, Friday Sept 23rd at 7:30pm, an open meet-and-greet with the audience will be led by the filmmaker Xisela Franco and the curator Chus Martínez Domínguez.

Artists in the Incomplete Story

Starting April 29, a new programme of exhibitions is housed in the Annex at MARCO, a space transformed into a project room in 2015. Faithful to the MARCO trademark programming style, this new line highlights MARCO's self-produced projects, both regarding site-specific works and cycles of exhibitions in which a single curator organises a year-long programme of exhibitions. All along 2016, art critic and curator Chus Martínez Domínguez presents the programme ‘PROBLEMATICS. Artists in the Incomplete Story’.

Taking as a starting point the problematic realities and circumstances which arise from the interaction between women artists and the art system, the programme here poses different questions regarding artistic theory and practice. Through four site-specific proposals the cycle materializes research, concepts, and poetics surrounding the works of each woman’s proposal.

Proposals by creators of different generations and genres ranging from visual arts to architecture or audio visual art — Mónica Cabo (Oviedo, 1978), Pascuala Campos de Michelena/Ana Gallego Palacios (Jaén, 1938/Cáceres, 1975), Xisela Franco (Vigo, 1978) and Carolina Bonfim (São Paulo, Brasil, 1982) — conform this exhibition programme of intertwined stories about representation, identity, politics and territory from a perspective which is filled with criticism, humour, subversion and memory. These are just a few questions of an extended discourse about the work by women artists, which always seems to be disposed or imposed in an incomplete stage, under construction and re-vindication.

The Annex at MARCO becomes the perfect metaphor of the spaces women artists are so familiar with: working in the margins, in resistance, in the hidden corners of the system. However, this project wants to rephrase the questions and insist on those places, to transform them into stories scripted by the artists themselves, using them as an opportunity to propose new realities by reacting against circumstances which limit, condition, and debilitate. Transversal thoughts in the form of actions; a present in which the question of genre is still taken as problematic.

Programming and calendar

Mónica Cabo
29 April – 26 June 2016

Pascuala Campos de Michelena/Ana Gallego Palacios
8 July – 11 September 2016

Xisela Franco
23 September 2016 – 8 January 2017

Carolina Bonfim
20 January – 26 March 2017

Information and visits

The gallery staff welcomes queries from visitors regarding the exhibition and offers the usual guided tours:
Daily tours at 6:00pm
À la carte group tours, by appointment only. For bookings, call +34 986 113900


Winning Project of the Call for Residencies for the Production of Artistic Projects ARTISTAS 2015


This proposal by filmmaker Xisela Franco was the winning project of the Call for Residencies for the Production of Artistic Projects ARTISTAS 2015, a joint collaboration between the Equality Unit of the University of Vigo and the MARCO. This call was designed for artists to perform a solo show as part of the Annex programming of the MARCO, particularly for the exhibitions cycle Problematics, curated by Chus Martínez Domínguez.

This call for supporting artistic production is part of a project that the Equality Unit of the University of Vigo has developed since 2011. An initiative designed to support women who want to start their career in the field of art. Artists are given the opportunity to work in a professional artistic space by looking new ways of promoting their work considering they experience greater difficulties than men. This is the first time the project focuses in supporting artistic production.

Works on display

Interior, exterior, durante [Interior, exterior, in-between] is an 8-hour film-installation which depicts a day contemplating a Galician coastal landscape from the balcony of a house. In visual terms, a window onto the outside world with meditative images of the surroundings of the seaside holiday resort of Baiona and its estuary, presented in the form of a triptych. In audio terms, the voice over suggests an off-screen space which humanises the maritime vignettes with everyday recordings from the interior of the home, where a baby, the artist’s daughter, progresses with her cognitive learning during the first three years of her life. If the visual aspect covers an entire day, the audio resorts to a chronological record of moments of upbringing. The intimate and the interior of the household surround the exterior landscape. The invisible lends meaning to the visible, and the audio track is confronted with the image to embrace it and give it specificity and meaning.

This film was made expressly for the MARCO, Museum of Contemporary Art (Vigo, Spain) and has been installed in a space-room with two audio sources: one close to the end of the room where the window—the balcony—is located, playing the ambient sound of the exterior landscape; and the other, closer to the centre of the room, alluding to the interior of the home which welcomes and educates the new being.

Early-morning viewers will probably encounter a golden sunrise over which the child babbles, cries or emits sounds that are precursors to verbal language. If we visit the exhibition at midday, the sun will be reaching its zenith and the clarity of the blue sky will be enveloped in the sound of the child pronouncing her first words. The off-screen audio evokes everyday moments of family life related with language learning, scenes between a mother and a daughter in which the father also often appears. At the end of the day, the audience-viewer will probably be met with the sunset, the ruddy eventide, or fragments of nightfall, with the young child now speaking fluently.

A journey into the emotions of Xisela Franco, who avails herself of image and sound as means of expression through which to articulate her own experiences. The camera employed as a script to test the pulse of life.


Xisela Franco (Vigo, Spain,1978) is a film-maker and researcher with an extensive career in the fields of documentaries and experimental cinema. She is currently continuing to explore the creative documentary and video-art, while finishing her doctorate in Fine Arts at the University of Vigo, with a thesis on “Museum Cinema” supervised by Sivia Garcia and Margarita Ledo.

A graduate in Audiovisual Communication, and later Philosophy, from the European University of Madrid, she lived in Spanish capital for nine years, during which she set up her production company, Epojé FIlia, producing documentaries for TVE and the History Channel, and art films. Constantly looking into new avenues of audiovisual expression which raise questions about the identity of cinema in order to redefine it, her work has garnered awards and has been exhibited at international galleries and festivals. Aadat (2004), which she co-directed with Noé Rodríguez, received the City of Madrid Award for the Best Spanish Documentary at the Documenta Madrid Festival, the Vitoria Gasteiz award for the Best Videoart Work, and was a finalist in a number of European Festivals, such as the Leipzig International Film Festival and the European Film Biennial in Ludwigsburg. Thanks to a post-graduate study grant from the Caixa Galicia Foundation, from 2006 to 2010 she relocated to Canada and studied for an MFA (Master of Fine Arts in Film) at York University, where her dissertation was supervised by the film-maker, Phil Hoffman. While at York, she also taught Film Art as an assistant to Prof. John McCullough, came into contact with Toronto's vibrant community of film-makers and artists, and focused on the Canadian avant-garde documentary. Between 2012 and 2013, she directed three documentaries for TVG’s “As Raíces” series on Galicia’s industrial history, as well as the documentaries Camerún, al Norte with NGO Pozos de Agua Mayo Rey, and SOS Comuneiros de Cabral, an activist documentary rallying against the construction of large shopping mall. Her film Hyohakusha, which she co-directed with Anxela Caramés, received an award at the Cine Mística Festival in Granada.

Recently she received a Galician Audiovisual Talent grant from the Galician Agency for Cultural Industries (AGADIC), as well as the award for the Best Galician Script in the 2015 Curtocircuito Festival, for Cruz Piñón (from the AGAC Association). In 2016 she has created and directed the Cinema e Muller [Cinema and Women] project, a series of actions which aim to increase the prominence of cinema made by women in Galicia.

Curatorial text

Xisela Franco
Interior, exterior, durante [Interior, exterior, in-between]


“In fact, he is looking at nothing; he retains within himself his love and his fear; that is the Look”
Roland Barthes, Camera Lucida

The film-maker Xisela Franco (Vigo, Spain, 1978) belongs to a new generation of creators who experience the metamorphoses of the cinema in a free, diverse and unprejudiced way, delving into the intersection between cinema and contemporary art, investigating and developing the conundrums arising from the spatial and conceptual limits of expository cinema. Female creators fully aware of the fundamental link between feminism and video art, who in the technological and digital find the conceptual framework from which to investigate and act, and whose thematic interests contemplate the rebirth of the body, identity and memory, among others, with a subjectivity developed under multiple approaches. Thus, Xisela Franco’s perspective evolves from personal experiences, in the case of the visceral Anima Urbis (2010) or Vía Láctea [Milky Way ] (2013) and in the work Interior, exterior, durante [Interior, exterior, in-between], which we now present (woven around the notion of motherhood) also with the need to intrude into the private world of other women: with contributions to more intimate stories and from the standpoint of social questioning, such as Aadat (2004) and Cruz Piñón (2015). A path of works articulated from experimental cinema, which give shape to the different scientific and expository productions and projects, such as the recent awareness-raising project Cinema e muller [Cinema and women] (Pontevedra Provincial Council).

In this, her first solo exhibition, Xisela Franco invites visitors to the museum to become cinema viewers, to contemplate time from its own temporality. Interior, exterior, durante [Interior, exterior, in-between] is a project that works with the handling of time to attain an expectant, sonorous geography, which she captures in that which is happening, in the convergence of recorded image and duration experienced. Franco filmed the work expressly for the exhibition room, adapting to its opening hours, conceptualising the very expository mechanism. Thus, the exhibition features a nine-hour screening in the form of a triptych, with static camera shots over a coastal landscape; the sublime and surrounding, symbolic and infinite power of the sea, an element that is present, either directly or indirectly, in many of her works. She combines images with sound, with the voices of a family which transfer the domestic atmosphere and codes to the room: contextualising the hours of the day, evaluating an emotional climate and showing the progress in language learning made by little Maia, her daughter, recorded over a three-year period. Voices which are the extension of individual narratives; of teaching and learning; renunciation and generosity. Image and sound are thus constructed in the same way, but presented in an apparent opposition, which will gradually be transformed, to finally form the viewer’s experience.

Particularly noteworthy in the work is the ease with which the artist transforms the common, from and in opposition to the everyday. Franco questions her surroundings and introduces memory to activate the confrontation with the present moment in time, with the entirely intellectual aim of interpreting it without hiding the emotional aspect that such an exercise entails. An intimate script, concocted on the basis of an archive of objects, sounds and images which, as occurs in Chantal Akerman’s film-guides, transform the screen into her own skin. In this case, tattooed with a perfect, incomprehensible, luminous nature, altered only in the three fragments which make up the composition. Thus, Xisela Franco’s triptych turns into a parapet, a veil, a pit, an embrace. Setting and mirror Each one of the images transmits a sort of enjoyment of the void, as well as of depth, banality and monotonous in the slowness of its unhurried rhythm, with long shots in which the duration underscores and constructs, defines, the process. The flow of time is broken up into a kind of triptych of snaps or canvasses, in an immediate relationship with the visual arts which, nonetheless, promptly distances itself in the marginal spaces, reserved for resources, trials or errors, evincing the distinction between technological reproduction and experience of what is real. The author constructs types of images reminiscent of a monitor on standby, suggesting against the backdrop of the pause a strategy of introspection in order to immerse us in that private and complex narration about upbringing. One might say that the artist presents a perfect image in order to experience a wonderful imperfection, in a sort of emotional pediment.

This constitutes an essential project in the quest undertaken by Xisela Franco to set herself on the sidelines of the creative and expository processes that accompany cinema and art, through an issue as complex as the treatment and representation of time. Framed within the reflections on her daughter’s birth, in the progression of her learning, this interval is the ideal one for surprising us in the fascination that our immediate surroundings arouse in us. An emotional, poetic journey through personal and creative interferences, which at the same time document the artist’s internal and external settings: manners of being in the world, of observing it, of documenting it and of interpreting it. Time, place and action in the conundrum of life.

Chus Martínez Domínguez


Chus Martínez Domínguez

Graduate in Art History by the University of Santiago de Compostela, Chus Martínez Domínguez (Tui, 1976) is an expert in contemporary visual arts. She is an acclaimed art critic and a regular contributor to Babelia, the cultural magazine of the newspaper El País and the magazine Tempos Novos an also to other Galician and Spanish specialized publications such as ArtNotes, Arte y Parte and Artecontexto. She has written texts and researches on contemporary artistic creation and women in the art system and taken part in various research programs, catalogues and essays. She has worked for public and private institutions such as Centro Galego de Arte Contemporánea, Consello da Cultura Galega, Museo Barjola, Gijón, Deputación de Ourense, Deputación de Lugo, University of Vigo, University of Santiago and University of A Coruña. Clear examples of her work as curator are exhibitions at CGAC, Auditorio de Galicia, Sala Alterarte and Casa da Parra, among others. Deserves special mention her work as coordinator at (CGAC, 2008), a ground-breaking website dedicated to Galician artists, and also her work as editor of the homonymous the publication resulting from this project. She has been a member of the area of Creation and Modern Visual Arts of the Council for Galician Culture since 2012.