German Experimental Films of the 90s, Program Two

The second in a series of five programs, “(Found-Footage-) Material, Structure, Form, Animation” collects ten films that abjure photographic realism for a variety of synthetic forms. In the best of them, reediting, fast motion, decaying celluloid, and paint applied to photographs become hypnotic metaphors for transformation, their oddly mechanical quality suggesting a world whose players are gears and circuits. For A Proven Partner JŸrgen Reble took an old industrial film on computers, slowed it down, converted it to black and white, and made the images pulsate with light as if the circuits were alive; slow movements sideways and zooming movements on mysterious objects combine to suggest the interior of a giant cathedral. In Clocks Kirsten Winter superimposes paint over photographic imagery, enriching its shapes and colors. For Curtain Sing Song Johannes Przygodda glued actual pieces of curtain fabric to the celluloid; the stark black and white emphasizes the diverse rhythms created by the fabric’s patterns. In That Is the House From Nicholas Lutz Garmsen combines ships, planes, and birds in rapid movement, then sets them adrift in space. Even Franz Winzentsen’s charming, down-to-earth The Porcelain Shop Part I and II, which he calls a “diarylike collection,” includes drawings of UFOs, though it mostly investigates symbol systems ranging from the designs on Russian ceramics to rabbit sign language. On the same program, films by Deborah Phillips; Gerd Gockell; Hans Joachim Hofmann; Martin Hansen; Philip Hunt; and Owen O’Toole, Alte Kinder, and Schmelzdahin. School of the Art Institute, 112 S. Michigan, room 1311, Friday, March 6, 7:00, 312-329-0915. –Fred Camper

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): That Is the House from Nicholas film still.