Matadero Madrid center for contemporary creation
Sergio Vega Borrego
Villa Magna, Tetuán is a documentary project that, through the figure of Manuel Calvin, looks at the fragments we weave together in an attempt to patch the unfathomable gap between reality and dreams.
In the case of Mr Calvin, this crack opens between the world of his past and that of his present. In one of these scenarios, Manuel Calvin is a receptionist at the renowned Hilton and Villa Magna hotels. A key witness to the last throes of the Dolce Vita era in Madrid, he observes the jet-setting world of show business as it passes through the doors of the two hotels from the late 60s to the 80s. In the other scenario, after his video store-museum goes out of business, Manuel gets a job as an assistant at a boxing gym in the district of Tetuán. In this apartment brimming with memories, where instead of family photos there are portraits of famous actors, American presidents, royal family members, and popes hanging on the walls, Manuel uses memory to weave a type of makeshift patch over his present.
Villa Magna, Tetuán brings spaces and people to the forefront, shedding light on the contrast between the luxury of the worlds Manuel reminisces about and the popular neighbourhood of Tetuán: a precipitous district with asymmetrical architecture and community centres, entrenched in a city that dreams of imperialism.
Sergio Vega Borrego is an editor and filmmaker. After studying Audiovisual Communication at the Complutense University of Madrid, he undertook an MA in film editing at the National Film & Television School, London. Since then he splits his time between the two cities.
Halfway between documentary and fiction, his pieces make employ archive material, and film and sound collage in an attempt to remove the line between genres and more humble, noble formats. His feature film, ‘La Valle dello Jato’ (The Valley of Jato), co-directed alongside Caterina Monzani, won the Best Documentary Award at the Rome Independent Film Festival (2013). As a film editor, he regularly works in the fields of video art and multi-screen video installations. Of particular note is his collaboration with the British-Ghanaian artist John Akomfrah, whose pieces, ‘Vertigo Sea’ (2015) and ‘Four Nocturnes’ (2019), premiered at the Venice Biennale and are often shown at contemporary art museums.
Sergio Vega Borrego is one of the four selected artists-in-residence for audiovisual projects that are currently underway, as part of the joint programme by Cineteca film archive and Matadero Madrid's Centre for Artists in Residence.