The New Zealand artist Sandy Gibbs required support in the production and direction of five audiovisual pieces for The Paradox of Failure, her PHD thesis project at Deakin University, Melbourne. Three of the pieces were recreations of specific events at the 1968 Olympic Games; the women’s swimming 400m medley final, the opening ceremony parade of the New Zealand team in the Olympic stadium and the Olympic torch run through the city. The fourth piece was interviews with all the participating swimmers and the fifth piece was a recreation of ‘Space Girl Dance‘, a video starring Raquel Welch made in the 1970s which featured La Ruta de la Amistad, a series of sculptures commissioned for the 1968 Olympics now located in the south of Mexico City.
Filming permission was obtained from three key locations: The Estadio Olímpico Universitario de la UNAM, an architectural icon of the city, the Francisco Márquez Olympic Pool, the same pool where the original competition was held, and in the protected areas of the sculptures of La Ruta de la Amistad. Seven female swimmers aged between 60-70 years old, all of whom swam with the sufficient level of technique required to recreate the competition, were found through an open call and bespoke replica swimsuits were created for each of them. All transportation and logistical support for the filming of the five pieces was facilitated and executed successfully.
Direction of the project included liaison with the artist to understand the core concepts and establish the ideal aesthetic for the works, the creation of a filming schedule and the coordination of an exceptional team of female filmmakers including Paulina del Paso, María José Secco and Claudia Becerríl Bulos. Upon completion of the project, all material was downloaded, organised and delivered to the client on time.
“Working remotely in New Zealand, I lobbed this team a real challenge. They pulled everything together for five shoots – incredible. Great footage. Loved working with these professional, creative, extraordinary people.”
Sandy Gibbs, Visual Artist