Dora García intertwines politics, psychoanalysis and performance into Segunda Vez (Second Time Around). This staged documentary orbits the figure of Oscar Masotta—a pivotal theorist in the Argentinian avant-garde from the 1950s to the 1970s, whilst not being a biopic about him. Masotta’s ideas on Lacanian psychoanalysis, politics and art (happenings and dematerialized art) changed the artistic landscape of that 1960s Buenos Aires preceding the dictatorship and with it the end of the avant-garde. The title, Segunda Vez, originates from a homonymous story written by a contemporary of Masotta’s, Julio Cortázar, which recounts the climate of psychosis and uncertainty caused by the trauma of disappearances in Argentina.
In Segunda Vez, García weaves together a sequence of seemingly disparate scenes that are bound by the act of repetition and observation: posters plastered along a wall advertise their own transmission—a phantom message in a bustling city; two audiences converge on a cliff top, divided in their knowledge of the scenario in which they are participating; a person, tied up in white cloth and ropes, is carried and left in a forest; the brief appearance of a helicopter causes some excitement and consternation; a group of poor and aging people is assembled on a podium, paid to endure violent light and sound for an hour, while an audience observes them; a library brings reading groups together who are aware they’re being watched; after a mysterious official summons, strangers chat in a waiting room anticipating what may happen—one young man among them has been called to return for a second time around.