Filmforum presents the concluding program in this astounding ten-part retrospective of Experimental films from Austria.
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?
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.
NOTE: The first eight screenings in this series will be at the UCLA Film & Television Archive, from August 17 – September 22.
TICKETS: available online at Brown Paper Tickets
Exposed (Siegfried A. Fruhauf, 2001, 16mm, b&w, 9 min)
Adebar (Peter Kubelka, 1957, 35mm, colour, 1 min)
Schwechater (Peter Kubelka, 1957-58, 35mm, colour, 1 min)
Iris (Maria Lassnig, 1971, 16mm, 10 min)
Le Barometre (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)
TRT: 90 min.