TVE:Primer Intento (documentary)
Subject: Political/Economic/Social Opinion
Medium: Film Video
Artist: Antoni Muntadas
Confronting Bodies: Television Espanola (T.V.E) - a Spanish television station
Dates of Action: 1988
Location: Barcelona, Spain
Description of Artwork: TVE:Primer Intento is a documentary about Spanish television. Muntadas's work examines the history of television in Spain, mostly through found footage from TVE's archives.
The Incident: In connection with Antoni Muntadas's 1988 exhibition at the Reina Sofia in Madrid, Television Espanola (T.V.E) commissioned the artist to do a piece for Metropolis, T.V.E.’s weekly arts-magazine program. Muntadas proposed to the show’s producers that he create a work about Television Espanol; his proposal was accepted by the show’s producers. However, when Muntadas’ work is finished two years later, the producers who approved his work are no longer there. The film is disturbing and extremely critical of the media and television industries, showing footage of viewers exclaiming about the wonders of television and revealing their addiction to the idiot box. The new producers at Metropolis rejected the work and never provided Muntadas with an explanation.
Results of Incident: Muntadas' documentary was not broadcast on T.V.E television as intended. Muntadas responded to the censorship of his film with a new work, The File Room. This electronic archive, which is located on the Internet's World Wide Web, documents the history of cultural and social censorship since the ancient Greeks. Muntadas's experience with Television Espanola supplied the motive for the piece; it was also the first case history recorded on the archive.