January 2019, arsenal cinema

A 37 90 89: Lutz Mommartz

400 M IFF, 1969

Lutz Mommartz (born 1934) is considered one of the most important representatives of experimental film in Germany. In 1967, he made his first 16-mm films, including SELBSTSCHÜSSE (1967), which won a prize at the experimental film festival in Knokke-le-Zoute, Belgium the same year. Mommartz’s works are characterized by an intensive examination of the theory of cinema, as well as proposals on how to expand this. For SELBSTSCHÜSSE, Mommartz was director, cameraman and actor at once, throwing the camera up into the air above him several times. The shoot itself became the plot. EISENBAHN (1967) shows the same sequence shot from a moving train over and over again, playing with the viewer’s perception of time. FINGER (1967) stages simple close-ups of sensual contact and the associations it inspires. In OBEN/UNTEN (1967), Mommertz presents a series of cinematic devices such as slow motion shots, split screen and camera rotation. These four early works and others that emerged shortly thereafter, including WEG ZUM NACHBARN (1968), ÜBERFORDERT (1969) and 400 M IFF (1969) were presented at the A 37 90 89 project space in Antwerp in November 1969. The A 37 90 89 – The Invention of the Neo-Avant-Garde exhibition looks back at the history of this alternative art center, as well as at the curatorial practice that developed there. Aside from a cooperation with the contemporary project space after the butcher, the project also includes a film program realized in cooperation with Arsenal and various events including debates with eyewitnesses. (mr) (17.1.)