The World Redrawn

THE WORLD REDRAWN - THE ARTIST HEINZ EMIGHOLZ, documentary, 64 min., WDR/3sat, Germany © 2009
Credits: Script & Direction: Claudia Schmid; Camera: Susu Grunenberg; Sound: Ivonne Gärber, Oliver Lumpe; Editing: Oliver Held; Sound Mixing: Imke Bartmann; Commissioning Editor: Reinhard Wulf.

THE WORLD REDRAWN - THE ARTIST HEINZ EMIGHOLZ, documentary, 64 Min., WDR/3sat, Germany © 2009
Credits: Script & Direction: Claudia Schmid; Camera: Susu Grunenberg; Sound: Ivonne Gärber, Oliver Lumpe; Editing: Oliver Held; Sound Mixing: Imke Bartmann; Commissioning Editor: Reinhard Wulf.

"Normally there are the dual value logic and causality, cause and effect. They are such simple relations, which I find rather crude and that don’t particularly interest me. But certainly there is also a three dimensional logic of surplus value, which includes the work of memory and thinking, and in which the real situation merges. And that is a logic that is complex, and that interests me." Heinz Emigholz

I have always been interested in artists who intensely deal with the profound nature of art and its design options and who take solitary positions in the world of art. When I first saw Emigholz’s film series „Sense of Architecture“, I was fascinated by the intensity and originality of his pictorial language. In 2008 I visited the exhibition "The Foundation of Make Up" at the museum “Hamburger Bahnhof”, where I met Heinz Emigholz personally and immersed into his complex work. From the very first second I felt connected with his thought, his artistic approach and his works. I was immediately impressed by the combination of crystal-clear analytical thinking, sensitivity and plain poetry.

Like no other artist, Heinz Emigholz has spent his whole life time and time again grappling with the possibilities and design levels of film and image surface in space and time. He is interested in thought spaces and the relationship between real and projected space. The most important thinking organ is always the eye, this interface between the world and the brain.

His artistic engagement with the "three-dimensional logic," which not only overcomes the dual positions of our thinking, but breaks into the "free space" of creativity, got me very interested straight away. Heinz Emigholz is one of the few artists who explore the boundary between art and film again and again. Since I have a background in conceptual art myself, dealing with this issue as a today’s filmmaker is very familiar to me.

The film “The World Redrawn” presents several clips of his filmic and graphic works and accompanies him through the exhibition at the museum “Hamburger Bahnhof” in Berlin. Interviews lead into his underlying world of thought and enlighten the diverse work of this extraordinary artist.

Heinz Emigholz is a filmmaker, visual artist, author, actor, publisher and producer. His first films from the 1970s that arise in the context of the avant-garde and experimental films show a complex interplay between abstract temporal and spatial compositions - cinematographic analysis of movement in selected urban and natural landscapes. Emigholz deconstructs pan shots, films various predetermined points of a 180° angle pan-shot in one place – standing single frames - after a score and puts them back together again during editing. He wants to create "time containers".

Additionally, he begins to examine the complexities of language in relation to space and time in the late 70ies. "Just like in the films, which deconstructed the landscapes according to the dramatic scores in fixed points and their connections, here each word gets one setting."

His films play an important role in his work. Although they also address the engagement with space and time, they are less narrative and less analytically designed – they are individual episodes, sometimes abstract, modeled partly on biographical experiences that fall into place to form a dreamlike story. In this process they elude a two-dimensional logic and deal with the contents of the sequences in a free-associative way. They seem poetic and transported into another world, yet again one senses the subjective view on those days and their thought. They correspond with his diary notes.

His series of drawings "The Basis of Make-Up," which he has begun with in 1974 in NY and which continuously grows as work in progress, includes 600 sheets now. Like many of his films they are based on the numerous notebooks of the artist, in which he collects drafts for his own texts as well as civilization garbage of all kinds, sentences overheard on the streets or on television, advertising, newspaper clippings, charts from military textbooks and private records. The drawings are all black and white photos are issued as prints in the format 54 x 64 cm. With its unusual architecture minimalist films "Architecture as Autobiography" / "Photography and Beyond", which he started in 1994, Emigholz again draws attention. In chronological order he shows in rigidly composed frames all buildings by various architects, civil engineers and designers that fascinate him most, like Bruce Goff, Adolf Loos, Robert Maillart, Rudolph Schindler, Louis Sullivan. Here again he denies the audience the usual perspective - in quiet stills he is filming individual views of each building, which he puts together rationally during the editing process. The spectator now has to put these single frames in his mind together to a whole. Even the sound is reduced to the actual sounds on the spot: the clatter of a keyboard, wind in the trees, and the roar of a passing car. Emigholz has produced his films only in the format 4:3. What interests him is not the conventional right angle and the central perspective. He is not interested in conventional perpendicularity and central perspective.

"Instead of being empty space whose coordinates are borrowed from abstract geometry categories such as the horizon line and vanishing point, the image space in the movies has always been populated. Where a room, there's a body that defines it, be it by its negative form, the absence."

The 1948 in Achim near Bremen born artist has presented comprehensive cinematic and artistic works and appeared in performances and films of other directors. He developed many exhibitions, retrospectives, lectures and publications on at home as well as abroad. He trained as a draftsman and photo retoucher and studied philosophy and literature in Hamburg. In 1978 he founded the production company Pym Films. Since 1993 he has been a professor for experimental filmmaking at the University of the Arts Berlin.

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