BREAKING GROUND: 60 YEARS OF AUSTRIAN EXPERIMENTAL CINEMA
September 7 – September 13
Curated by Brent Klinkum.
Austrian cinema has had a major impact throughout the world for most of the past century, thanks to directors like Fritz Lang, Joseph von Sternberg, Billy Wilder, and Otto Preminger, all of whom emigrated to the US and found great renown in Hollywood. And in more recent years a new generation of gifted narrative filmmakers has emerged, including Michael Haneke, Ulrich Seidl, Barbara Albert, and Jessica Hausner. Despite all this notice, however, one of the most extraordinary facets of Austrian cinema has gone relatively unnoticed: its rich tradition of avant-garde moving-image works, which has represented one of the key artistic forms in Austrian culture for more than fifty years.
To celebrate this achievement, and coinciding with the publication of UNFRAMED FILM: THE HISTORY OF AUSTRIAN AVANT-GARDE CINEMA (edited by Peter Tscherkassky), Sixpack Film has organized a remarkable survey of Austrian avant-garde cinema, with ten programs featuring films and videos produced between 1952 and 2010. These shows include examples of virtually every technique and genre imaginable, and include works by major figures such as Peter Kubelka, Kurt Kren, Peter Weibel, Peter Tscherkassky, Martin Arnold, and Mara Mattuschka. Each of these panoramic programs also features many unfairly neglected filmmakers and contemporary artists. The non-inclusive selection is an attempt to define a poetic edge within the vast array of production while underlining links and relationships between several generations of artists, (re)discovering new ways of entering into the ‘material’ and the frame, and examining the mechanics of cinema.
BREAKING GROUND is presented with the invaluable support of the Austrian Cultural Forum New York, the Austrian Federal Ministry for European and International Affairs, and Sixpack Film. Very special thanks to Andreas Stadler, Hannah Liko & Claudia Schabata (Austrian Cultural Forum New York), Sonja Reiser-Weinzettl (Austrian Federal Ministry for European and International Affairs), and Brigitta Burger-Utzer & Gerald Weber (Sixpack Film).