Xavier Marrades

Film/Video/New Media
Artist in Residence, 2024

Artist Statement

I am a filmmaker who works in the non-fiction realm and is drawn to the beauty of what often goes unnoticed in our everyday lives. People, animals, and landscapes hold equal prominence in my films. By patiently observing and listening to them, I aim to elevate the poetry of the small things into something universal that we can all relate to. Memory and belonging are central subjects, part of an ongoing quest that unfolds in my work, influenced by a life transiting between rural Catalunya, New York City, and Brazil. My approach to filmmaking is artisanal, as I work by myself throughout the creative process. The final form is usually that of a short film. They have been shown and awarded in festivals around the world, such as IDFA, Cartagena de Indias, New Directors New Films, the New York Film Festival, Camerimage and Sheffield, among many others.

While at Headlands

During my time at Headlands, I’ll be editing a film called Murmurations. The term refers to starling murmurations, a natural spectacle of hypnotic choreographies in winter sunsets, during which thousands of these birds produce a soft sound resembling a whisper as their wings flap.

It is also a dance of life and death that serves as a protective ritual against predators. Filmed in my hometown, Cervera, in rural Catalunya during the Covid pandemic, the starling murmurations become threads of voices that intertwine personal and collective memories. These encompass memories of old Cervera, the AIDS activists of New York in the ’80s (where I was diagnosed decades later), and the enduring African ancestry in Bahia, Brazil.

Murmurations underscores the significance of community, rituals, and remembrance, not only for enduring challenging times but also for envisioning potential futures. In this sense, the fluttering wings dispel the pandemics of forgetfulness and silence, celebrating those who came before us. These wings parade, dance, and beckon forth another era.

Murmurations, documentary work in progress. Archival footage – Aline Allegra.

Misericórdia, documentary short, 2019 – trailer

Cucli, documentary short, 2017 – trailer