Breaking Ground: 60 Years of Austrian Experimental Cinema
Sunday September 30, 2012, 7:30 pm
Los Angeles Filmforum presents
Breaking Ground: 60 Years of Austrian Experimental Cinema
Part 10 In Awe
At the Spielberg Theatre at the Egyptian, 6712 Hollywood Blvd., Los Angeles CA 90028
Tickets: $10 general; $6 students/seniors/LACE members; free for Filmforum members.
Filmforum presents the concluding program in this astounding ten-part retrospective of Experimental films from Austria!
Austria's avant-garde film tradition, arising at mid-century (and thus, relatively later than those of other Western nations) has been among the most sustained and radical of such traditions. As with other Austrian arts, it is a response (in part) to past national decadence and entrenched conservatism; its repository of cutting-edge experimental film and video works is uniquely impressive and progressive, fracturing into ever-newer distinctions.
The programs in this series have been constructed from avant-garde films and videos produced between 1955 and 2010 in which virtually every technique and genre imaginable is employed, from formalist and structuralist works by such globally renowned figures as Peter Kubelka, Peter Tscherkassky and Martin Arnold, to the radical work by performance-based artists such as VALIE EXPORT, Mara Mattuschka, Kurt Kren and the Viennese actionists, as well as the boundary-breaking contemporary output of artists including Siegfried A. Fruhauf, Johann Lurf and Virgil Widrich.
Works already considered canonical are supplemented by other works that experiment with sonic art and digital technology. Moving between historical, social and aesthetic questions and purely formal works that wreak havoc with the retina, this panoramic selection is an attempt to define a poetic edge within a vast array of production while underlining links and relationships between several generations of artists, (re)discovering new ways of entering into the "material" and the frame, and examining the mechanics of cinema.
This series is made possible with the support of the Austrian Consulate General in Los Angeles.
This program was curated by Brent Klinkum and presented in association with the UCLA Film & Television Archive and Anthology Film Archives.
Note: The first eight screenings in this series will be at the UCLA Film & Television Archive, from August 17 September 22. Los Angeles Filmforum members receive two for one admission at the Billy Wilder Theater box office for the screenings at UCLA!
Special thanks: Sonja Reiser-WeinzettlThe Austrian Foreign Ministry; Andreas Lins, Deputy Head of Post/ConsulAustrian Consulate General, Los Angeles; Gerald Weber; Brigitta Burger-Utzer; Ralph McKaySixpackfilm; Shannon Kelley UCLA Film & Television Archive
10. In Awe
Is there really an alternative to regarding oneʼs self or another without a sense of awe? Radical explorations of TVʼs early beginnings, and sexual desire expressed and imagined off screen and framed in closeups, are major artistic contributions to the reputation of the Austrian avant-garde. This program brings together works that thematize cinemaʼs one-way communication and the codes normally involved, which turn the spectator into a naïve onlooker. When our "iris" dilates with the "famous women of Vienna," you donʼt necessarily need to "close our eyes" for the "happy end." Can we maintain our voyeuristic gaze until the conclusion?
Siegfried A. Fruhauf (2001 / 16mm / b&w / 9 min)
Peter Kubelka (1957 / 35mm / colour / 1 min)
Peter Kubelka (1957-58 / 35mm / colour / 1 min)
Maria Lassnig (1971 / 16mm / 10 min)
Friedl vom Gröller (2001 / 35mm / b&w / silent / 3 min)
Berühmte Wieneriennen nackt: Die Geschichte des Pip-Ups
Famous Viennese Women naked: The History of the Pin-Up
Ernst Schmidt, Jr. (1983 / 16mm / colour / silent / 9 min)
TV + VT Works
Peter Weibel (1969-72 / video / b&w / 17.30 min)
Close Your Eyes
Billy Roisz (2009 / video / colour / 13 min)
Mann & Frau & Animal
VALIE EXPORT (1970-73 / 16mm / colour / 10 min)
22/69 Happy End
Kurt Kren (1969 / 16mm / b&w / silent / 4 min)
60 Years of Austrian Experimental Cinema
10 film & video programs curated by Brent Klinkum
In the twentieth century Austria's film industry was particularly active, with directors like Fritz Lang, Joseph von Sternberg, Billy Wilder and Otto Preminger, all of whom emigrated to the United States, and more recently Michael Haneke, Ulrich Seidl, Barbara Albert and Jessica Hausner. Less known and recognized outside the festival circuit and museums are the various forms of avant-garde moving images that without a doubt have been one of the key artistic forms in Austrian culture these past fifty years and continue to play an increasingly important role in the remarkable richness and diversity of Austrian cultural identity. This identity goes far beyond the clichés of Viennese cafés, Baroque palaces, waltzes and classical music to encompass the radicalism of writers like Thomas Bernhard, Elias Canetti, Franz Kafka and Elfriede Jelinek, and artists such as Oskar Kokoschka, Gustav Klimt, Hermann Nitsch and Egon Schiele, not to mention the architects and philosophers who have engendered major influences on the world stage. This selection continues in the same vein with cutting-edge films and videos.
These ten programs have been constructed from avant-garde films and videos produced between 1955 and 2010 in which virtually every technique and genre imaginable are employed. The selections range from formalist and structuralist works conceived by major figures on the world scene, like Peter Kubelka, Peter Weibel, Peter Tscherkassky and Martin Arnold, to the contemporary generation of artists pushing boundaries yet further into unique visual realms with such directors as Siegfried A. Fruhauf, Johann Lurf, Norbert Pfaffenbichler and Virgil Widrich. At the same time the radical veins of work produced by performance-based artists like VALIE EXPORT, Mara Mattuschka and the Viennese Actionists visualized through the highly condensed filmic documents of Kurt Kren have not been ignored. Special attention has also been devoted to artists whose work has regrettably become neglected over the years, for example Marc Adrian, Maria Lassnig, Hans Scheugl, Alfred Kaiser, Ernst Schmidt Jr. and Herbert Vesely. Interspersed amongst these historical and contemporary "classics" will be works revisiting architecture, commissioned film festival trailers and television commercials, the distinguished use of found footage in various chapters of Gustav Deutsch's Film ist. series, and some examples of mesmerizing sonic art with artists like Tina Frank, Karoe Goldt, Michaela Grill, Michaela Schwentner and Billy Roisz, as well as others. These works epitomize in many aspects the highly collaborative nature of Austrian avant-garde moving images. By appropriating digital technology, the artists have expanded the notion of collaboration, in which the "artist" and the "musician" play equal and complementary roles, and are often influenced by graphic artists, webmasters and designers. The common defining factor visible in all these independent, if not underground, films and videos is an unmistakable idiosyncratic visual grammar.
These selections are born of a collective desire to explore different means used in the making of screen works, both "classics" and the undeservedly little-known oeuvre of both renowned and emerging artists. Ignoring certain formal canons and underlining the visual and musical poetry are these programs' leitmotifs. Bouncing back and forth between historical, social and aesthetic questions and purely formal works that wreak havoc with the retina, this panoramic, non-inclusive selection is an attempt to define a poetic edge within the vast array of production while underlining links and relationships between several generations of artists, (re)discovering new ways of entering into the "material" and the frame, and examining the mechanics of cinema. (Brent Klinkum)
Brent Klinkum has directed Transat Vidéo since it's creation in 1994. Based in Caen, France, Transat Vidéo proposes yearly around a hundred different screening programs in cafés, galleries, museums, cinemas, festivals, fine art schools, in the countryside. With few exceptions programs are inspired by themes in relation to the context in which they are screened. Flipbooks, photos, performances, sound works, readings by actors regularly accompany the films and videos. Transat Vidéo also curates several exhibitions every year, co-produces installations and videos.
Amongst his parallel activities Brent Klinkum has been jury member of numerous international film and media art festivals, jury member of Fine Art school diplomas (Le Fresnoy, École Sup de l'image Angoulème) and participated in the preselection comitees of various festivals. Since 2004 he is member of the New Media collection of the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris. His curatorial activities includes exhibition and audiovisual programs in Paris, Caen, Zürich, Amien, Vienna, Brussels, Berlin, Zagreb, ...
Filmforum's screening series is supported, in part, by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors through the Los Angeles County Arts Commission; the Department of Cultural Affairs, City of Los Angeles; the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts; and the Metabolic Studio. Additional support generously provided by American Cinematheque. We also depend on our members, ticket buyers, and individual donors.
Coming Soon to Los Angeles Filmforum:
Oct 21 Lori Felker
Oct 28 David Gatten
Los Angeles Filmforum is the city's longest-running organization screening experimental and avant-garde film and video art, documentaries, and experimental animation. 2012 is our 37th year
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