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The filmkoop wien

10 Years+ of filmkoop wien:
Selected works from Austria's young Avant-Garde

Vienna has for many years been a top spot for experimental, avantgardist, expanded and independent art film. The film history of this old city holds many commanding names such as Valie Export, Kurt Kren, Peter Kubelka, Weibel and Peter Tscherkassky. The filmkoop wien emerged from the Friedl Kubelka’s School of Independent Film (Friedl being Peter Kubelka’s ex-wife and photographer and filmmaker herself) when ten alumni wanted to continue analogue filmmaking, thus forming the artist run laboratory.

Within a decade, they have established the filmkoop wien as a artist run film lab with a micro cinema suitable not only for showing their own works but also for international film screenings and fine Art exhibitions. Presently, filmkoop wien is the last place in Vienna specialised on analogue film – the last commercial processing lab closed four years ago making production difficult for the artists still depending on it. The “koop” - as its members call it – continues to offer open workshops in super 8 and 16mm filmmaking.

In this light, the tenth anniversary of filmkoop wien is not only an anniversary honouring the extraordinary feat of building up and maintaining an unique artist run space, but is also crucial for the independent film scene.

As a highlight of this year of celebrating filmkoop’s decade of filmmaking, screenings and just having fun, VASA breaks a taboo with a screening of three analogue films in a digitalized form: the three films to be shown are made by filmkoop wien members: Markus Maicher, Alina Tretinjak and Christian Gold-Kurz (1).

The films of the programme curated for VASA are very different at first glance: produced years apart, different in most technical properties as well as in their filmic style. On a second look they have a lot in common, namely the initial momentum situated in a documentary impulse: specific view, unseen and involuntary social performance, or the capturing of a subjects character. Synthetically seen, these differences describe the vast stylistic, technical and conceptual range that all films made at filmkoop wien frame.

Alina Tretinjak‘s work Ferragosto (2) was recorded 2016 in Verona, Italy. We watch tourists as they indecently touch the statue of Giulia Capuleti, tragic heroine of Shakespeare’s most famous play. The tourists, one after the other mimics their predecessor’s crime in a sheer endless procession of brain-free copying. The cast bronze sculpture of the juvenile self-poisoner is being wounded by all the touches. The intense film grain of the super 8 material highlights the crudeness of all this strange agalmatophilia.(3)

Markus Maichers film Mountain View was exposed 2018 high above the city of Salzburg. Staying in the fortress Hohensalzburg the filmmaker had a grand view of the mountains surrounding the city. Absorbing the view day for day he decided to record it on film: three takes of continuous zooms towards the mountains are all the raw material the film is comprised of. These takes are then combined in a montage that makes the flickering 16mm-artwork a film about film. But it is more than a mere reflection on film - it also refers to the photographic single image. Every last frame we can see in this film is a postcard-image, worthy of being an advert for the sound of music.(4) The film throws you back onto your own cognition - it shows you the way it usually works and then throws you off the familiar way of watching/looking to the self-revealing.

Gotteserscheinungen unter Orangeneinflussis not the not so enigmatic title of Christian Kurz‘s film. For the non-german-speaker, though it might be. Kurz’s second film Epiphanies under the influence of oranges (made 2008-2010) is a quite literal and accurate translation. The author spoils quite a few of his deeper thoughts in this title. Epiphanies appear of gods, celestial beings like stars on the firmament. Here the great movie stars of the studio system come to mind. This line of thought is also supported by the film itself: we see an idealised Person lifted by the means of film to be the godhood we have epiphanies about. We come close to the protagonist in this documentary portrait. Like a supplementary well of information the camera also scans the surroundings, these are more conventionally filmed takes than the double/tripple/quadruple exposures the filmmaker took on the takes depicting his subject, showing books, games, films and decorations of the room. The influence of oranges indicates an intoxication that is invisible - overcome and fascinated we dare not look away.

1. Frowned upon by pure blood analogue-nerds proper film digitalisation is a time and money-consuming activity: The film is being scanned. Each film frame is either re-photographed via a CCD-sensor or scanned with a cathode ray.1

2. Ferragosto (Ita.) composite word derived out of Ferie (=Holidays) and Agosto(=August). It describes two things: The mid of August and Assumption Day which is 15th and also a public holiday in Italy.

3. Agalmatophilia is a subsection of object sexuality. If you’re attracted to inanimate large humanoid statues or Dolls.

4. Just add one of the von Trapps into the foreground and you’re there.

https://filmkoopwien.at


Video is a collection of the four films © by Alina Tretinjak, Markus Maicher, Christian Kurz
Length: 8:25
It may go full screen.

About the films and filmmakers:

Alina Tretinjak
Ferragosto
Super 8, digital / Black and White / silent /  2:15 min
AT, IT / 2016

In the courtyard of Juliet's house in Verona, the camera captures the unique behaviour of visitors and tourists when meeting with the statue of this famous Shakespearean character. Ferragosto shows a sequence of short emotional encounters that last no longer than a few seconds. An Italian summer romance.

Alina Tretinjak is an independent filmmaker and dancer. Having produced several narrative films she turned to a stronger artistic approach to filmmaking. Her films are like choreographies, leading your gaze from image to image, melting sound into light.
https://filmbazaar.wordpress.com

Markus Maicher
Mountain View
16mm, digital / colour / silent / 2:40 min
AT / 2018

Three continuous zooms towards a landscape are deconstructed into a discontinuous appearance of single frames. The panoramic view is obstructed, the organic movement of the hand dissolved into structural variation of the basic units of film. Indexical content is inevitably present on the physical film strip and yet lost in the structure of the film.

Markus Maicher is an experimental filmmaker and media theorist who is interested in the history and practice of independent filmmaking as well as in film as a medium for artistic research. He teaches film and urban studies at the TU Wien and works as a projectionist and lecturer at the Austrian Filmmuseum.

Christian Kurz
Gotteserscheinungen unter Orangeneinfluss
(Epiphanies under the influence of Oranges)
16mm, digital / Black and White / Stereo / 2:30 min
AT / 2008-2010

Being a portrait film, we watch the filmmaker’s subject in his natural habitat. The camera scans the details of the room of this adolescent young man. Possessions give us a glimpse of his inner self as double, tripple and quadruple exposures layer movements and gazes that form the complex nature that is being a human.

Christian Kurz is an artist and film archivist. His interest in societal matters make him investigate human interaction. He is a teacher at the university for applied arts lecturing analogue film and photographic techniques. Artistically he is drawn towards imaging via light.
https://christiankurz.org/



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