Mikel Guillen is a Toronto based avant-garde artist and Filmmaker, Photographer, Designer, Film Translator and Anarchist Poet.
Mikel has a background in Design, Art and Photography (Istituto di Arte e Disegno, Florence, Italy). He studied Film Theory courses at (Ryerson University, Toronto, Canada) and Digital Cinematography (G. Brown, Technical College, Toronto, Canada). Philosophy and Eastern Religions courses (Ryerson and School of Philosophy).
My aesthetics and approach to filmmaking are based and inspired by subjects like: Sadness, Humanity, Melancholia, Anonymity, Poetry, Philosophy, Isolation, Nostalgia, Displacement, Identity, Spirituality, Minimalism and Mysticism.
Classic influences: Jean Epstein, Robert Bresson, Jean Vigo, Marcel L’Herbier and more.
Modern Influences: Phil Solomon, Jean Marie Straub & Daniele Huillet, Andrei Tarkovsky, Stan Brakhage, Chris Marker, Tsai Ming Liang, Béla Tarr, Michael Haneke and more. So drawn into them and in terms of subjects like framing, subjects and mise en scène.
For our connection through the night and its darkness and mystery. I consider Phil Solomon my mentor.
During the 1990’s, He professionally translated the works of Pier Paolo Pasolini, Federico Fellini, Roberto Rossellini, Andrei Tarkovsky, Robert Bresson, Luchino Visconti and many more at the University of Guadalajara, Mexico.
In the late 2000’s Mikel released a series of Anarchist Poems and performed at Ellinton’s Cafe Poetry. An active member of Amnesty International.
“Sangria” ( 2009). Remodernist Film, Ascending (Co-created with Nick Block, 2012). “Soutenir F”(2013 Omnibus film). “Le Savoir-Faire de Nobody” (2014) The Remodernist film “The Natural State”. (2014). I Deserve (Collaboration with Alberto Perez Galindo, 2015) The Sadness of the Trees (Collaboration with Scott Barley) Mütter (2015) Intermission (2017).
All films have done multiple screenings at many international film festivals, galleries, museum’s cinematheques, walls and garages.
“The Pirate Tapes”. (Assoc.Producer 2011). A feature Documentary film that describes the Somali pirate trade, acquired by HBO International.
In 2012, Mikel and Nick Block wrote and created “Ascending”. (18 mins). A film inspired by The Remodernist Film Manifesto.
Late fall 2012, Mikel joined a project called “Impression X” an Omnibus film. A Fauvist Celebration of the long take. 25 filmmakers from around the globe collaborated in this project produced by Roy Rezaali in Holland.
Early 2014, The Natural State (15 mins) was released. A Remodernist film. Inspired by the nihilistic writings of U.G. Krishnamurti, It explores our unstoppable search for happiness, spirituality and memories.
The Natural State is now part of hambre | espacio cine experimental. Hambre is a observatory and laboratory dedicated to the research, dialogue and production of critic and sensitive thought by contagion and connection to experimental cinemas.
In 2015, The Sadness of the Trees (12 mins). A film by Mikel Guillen and Scott Barley. Two separate, yet poetically connected films that act as a threnody on nature; with the trees as silent observers to Man’s insidious desolation. Mikel Guillen’s film is dedicated to the artist, Hiroshi Sugimoto. Scott Barley’s film is dedicated to the artist, Vija Celmins.
Animal-Nature-Human continum- The Sadness of the Trees (Mikel Guillen, Scott Barley) screening with the Turin Horse (Béla Tarr) Liberty Cinema, Mumbai, India, July 2016.
Mid 2015, Mütter (9 mins) was released.
Mütter “It’s very subtle – it all depends on whether one picks up on the slight variations and moments of collision and repetition. Surprising and intriguing, I’m still carrying it around in my head, so that’s a good sign that you got in there. You and Scott are very brave, indirect filmmakers that are really relying on an audience to swing with you through the dark ellipsis of an implied narrative, so I do feel kindred in my work from that Pov – and the mystery of the dark the night”. Phil Solomon, American avant-garde artist and filmmaker.
Mütter was screened at University of Boulder, Colorado. The Film was presented by Phil Solomon to his students in March 2016.
Mütter will be have a screening alongside Phil Solomon’s work and Scott Barley’s work at MAR Contemporary Art Museum in Mar Del Plata, Argentina for February 2016. It’s also an official selection for The Toronto International Short Film Festival for March 16th, 2016.
Mütter was selected at New Works Pleasure Dome and was screened at The Gladstone Hotel on November 3rd 2016.
An avant-garde piece inspired on one of Shakespeare most dramatic characters, Volumnia. Starring British Performance Artist Viv Moore. It will be screened as part of the 400th anniversary of W. Shakespeare, Radical Shakespeare. This is an Art Secession Cabal in New Haven, CT.
It’s a film about suspension. Its inspired by the disappearance of Mariam Makhniashvili who disappeared in Toronto but was found dead two years later.
It’s about remembrance, the power of a suspended thought. When a loved one disappears or someone vanishes for no reason, no trace, no answer, no closure, our thoughts enter a very specific state of mind. A state that is not clearly defined. The weight, our imagination, our love, our hope become a suspension, a powerful and emotional state. This suspension becomes an Intermission.
Trandzit Display Gallery will have a screening of Mikel Guillen’s work and Scott Barley’s work on September 29th, 7 pm. Prague, Czech Republic.
Pix Film Gallery will have a screening of Mikel Guillen’s work. Entitled Les Obscurités Anonymes. Installation works and Moving images on October 6th, 7 pm, in Toronto, Canada.
Intermission screened at What a place to be alive: Images from Toronto presented by Collective Misnomer, Denver, Colorado. November 12th, 2017.
An international avant-garde cinema collective. Mikel Guillen, Scott Barley and Sebastian Wiedemann.
There will be selected screenings, one event and Installations in 2018. Curated by Nadin Mai and Organized by Mely Oulhen. Obscuritads
The avant-garde cinema collective will be launched in Paris, France. Winter 2017-2018. Screening and conference organized by Miquel Esqudero Diéguez and presented and introduced by French historian and avant-garde film critic Nicole Brenez.
Feature Film “Mahdi”.
A Social Realist film about Immigration, Paternal love and Female mutilation.
The moral tale of Mahdi is that at the end of everything, the most important thing is paternal love and how this spirituality makes us all connected through blood and sacrifices. Yes, we can struggle and learn through our own mistakes but there will always be a spiritual path into the truth.
“Holocaust Dance Fillm“ (2017-18)
Producer, Rabbi Yossi Berktin.
An avant garde study and mise en scene. Choreography by Dave Wilson. Dancer: Lauren Runions.
“Oscillations”. A Collaborative Experimental Film (2018) by Mikel Guillen, Scott Barley and Sebastian Wiedemann.
“Atonal” (2017-18) a mediatitive study on male asexuality.
Awards and comments.
“Mikel Guillen has been an instrumental contributor to the development of the Remodernist approach to filmmaking, both through the creation of his own works such as “Ascending” and “The Natural State” and the French translation of the Remodernist Manifesto.
Jesse Richards. Painter, Filmmaker and Photographer and founder and publisher of the Remodernist Film Manifesto.
Mütter was named best avant-garde short film in 2016 by Italian magazine Visione Sospessa.
“Beautiful and Haunting”. Phil Solomon on The Sadness of the Trees.
“Very strong frames, beautifully put, the stately rhythm, the necessity of watching, the beautiful black and white. yes. it feels like cinema, sequences, powerful shots” Mike Hoolboom, Canadian avant garde artist and filmmaker on Intermission.
“Extremely interesting film project” Carlos Reygadas on feature film Mahdi.
“The austerity is extremely elegant and the cinematography astonishing, many of the images were reduced to a stern, minimal architecture”.
Bruce Elder, Canadian avant-garde Filmmaker on Ascending.
“What a delicious side-effect of such a devastating time, a soul-raising, heart-rising vignette, a woman and a man, a future, a mystery, a magnificent unfolding about to descend upon the viewer. Ascension”. Judith Fitzgerald on Ascending, avant-garde Canadian Poet and Journalist.
“This enfant terrible created a poetry of a woman lost in a night dream where real and surreal meet with a promisory new dawn and a young life looking forward to it“. Svetlana Plotnikova Ukranian artist and free thinker on Mütter.
For private and public exhibitions or international acquisitions Agent/Curator Nadin Mai. (France).
Available for commissions.
( Music Videos, Films, Documentaries, Art/Photo Projects, Fashion Films, Interactives and Commercials)