On September 20, we will be opening the "Formative Years" exhibition at the Goethe Institute’s Wyoming Building, which comprises an installation of seven films by Heinz Emigholz from the period 1972–77. Following the premiere at the Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum für Gegenwart as part of the 2010 Forum Expanded, the exhibition could later be seen at Extra City in Antwerp. The Anthology Film Archive will also be presenting a full retrospective of Heinz Emigholz’s films starting on September 21 to coincide with the exhibition.
The films, shot on 16mm, were digitalized in 2009, in order to make them publicly accessible. The installation offers the chance to get an overview of the relations among these self-contained works. All of the films were shown in the Berlinale’s International Forum of Young Film during the seventies:
SCHENEC-TADY I 1972/73, b/w, 40 minutes, silent (Forum 1975)
SCHENEC-TADY II 1973, color, 19 minutes, silent (Forum 1975)
ARROWPLANE 1973/74, color, 24 minutes, silent (Forum 1974)
TIDE 1974, b/w, 34 minutes, silent (Forum 1976)
SCHENEC-TADY III 1972/75, b/w, 25 minutes, silent (Forum 1976)
HOTEL 1975/76, b/w, 27 mintes, magnetic sound (Forum 1976)
DEMON 1976/77, b/w and color, 29 minutes, magnetic sound (Forum 1979)
Heinz Emigholz’s artistic work investigates the threshold between film and the visual arts. His early film creations provided a crucial impetus for the international experimental film movement of the ’70s and ’80s. They are counted among the few experimental works from Germany which have attained enduring international acclaim. The project The Formative Years makes visible and accessible a segment of film history which, in light of upheavals in the analog world and departures toward a digital one, enables discussion of highly contemporary developments.
"These films capture – without illustrating – notions of endlessness and timelessness in rigorous compositions. In doing so, something like a logic of the material unfolds. After these mostly twenty or thirty minute films, we don’t have the impression that we know anything more about what was filmed, but instead that we are more decisively conscious of the independent existence of landscapes and things, of the limits of what our gaze takes in, and of the unreliability of our always anthropomorphic means of perception. We start to wonder how a technical medium with so many possibilities to change the old ways of perception of the other arts can be so completely absorbed by them." (Frieda Grafe)
The exhibition and subsequent tour were made possible by the kind support of the German Federal Cultural Foundation.