Wilhelm Hein – Perfekt!

Date: 19 May 2006 | Season: Wilhelm Hein

19—20 May 2006

London The Horse Hospital and Goethe Institute

Undeniably one of the major figures of European personal filmmaking, Wilhelm Hein makes a rare visit to London to present three programmes at the Goethe Institute and Horse Hospital.

Wilhelm Hein began filmmaking (together with Birgit Hein) in the late 1960s, creating highly original collages such as Rohfilm (1968). In these rough, visual attacks, the film material affirms its presence on the screen rather than acting simply as a transparent carrier for photographic images. This style of Materialist filmmaking developed in parallel at the London Filmmakers’ Cooperative, leading to early links between the avant-garde in Germany and the UK.

W+B Hein were also innovators in the fields of multi-screen projection and live film performances, with works including Doppelprojektion (1971) and Superman and Wonderwoman (1980-84). Tireless promoters of work by others, they organised XSCREEN in Cologne (1968-71) to present regular programming, made documentaries for WDR television, and were largely responsible for establishing a presence for avant-garde cinema in European art museums and surveys (such as Documenta) in the 1970s.

Despite this activity and recognition, Wilhelm Hein has resisted becoming part of the establishment. He remains committed to the vitality of the underground and prefers punk clubs to professorships. A survivor with a restless energy, Hein is one of the last true radicals of his generation, continuing with a subversive practice dedicated to the freedom of expression.

Curated by Mark Webber for Goethe-Institut London.

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You Killed the Underground Film

Date: 19 May 2006 | Season: Wilhelm Hein

Friday 19 May 2006, at 7:30pm

London The Horse Hospital

“Wilhelm Hein: Perfekt!” begins with a screening (at the Horse Hospital) of his recent epic, You Killed The Underground Film, or The Real Meaning of Kunst Bleibt, Bleibt. An open-ended work, it gathers a decade of footage in a diaristic odyssey that slides from the sublime to the ridiculous, between document and performance.

Hein faces his own history in the climate of political change that has transformed Europe since the 1980s, mixing images with diverse music and spoken word recordings. Jack Smith, Nick Zedd and other underground figures appear in the film, which transcends nostalgia to become a pure and progressive affirmation of independence. Defiant, didactic and polemical, this sprawling opus is a kick in the teeth for convention. (Against all odds, it won the German Critics Prize at last year’s European Media Art Festival, Osnabrück.)

Wilhelm Hein, You Killed The Underground Film, or The Real Meaning of Kunst Bleibt, Bleibt Germany, 2002-06, b/w & colour, sound-on-cd, 120 min
“Wilhelm Hein’s new film is a fascinating and challenging example of what it means to make politically relevant underground film in an increasingly rented world.” (Marc Siegel)

Curated by Mark Webber for Goethe-Institut London.

WILHELM HEIN: PERFEKT! continues at the Goethe Institute (South Kensington) on Saturday 20 May. 4pm: Wilhelm Hein & Malcolm Le Grice screening and informal discussion on Materialist filmmaking in the 60s & 70s. 7:30pm: Wilhelm Hein’s Secret Cabinet including films by Andy Warhol, Kurt Kren, Dieter Roth, Tony Conrad, Peter Weibel, Viennese Aktionists Gunther Brus and Otto Muehl, and from the German underground: Annette Frick, Die Tödliche Doris and Lukas Schmied.


Material as Content

Date: 20 May 2006 | Season: Wilhelm Hein

Saturday 20 May 2006, at 4pm
London Goethe Institute

Wilhelm Hein & Malcolm Le Grice Screening and Conversation

An informal discussion between Malcolm Le Grice and Wilhelm Hein on the origins and development of Materialist filmmaking, and the connections and common ground shared between British and German artists in the 1960s and 1970s. Each will show selections of their work from this formative period.

W+B Hein, Germany, 1969, b/w, sound, 28 min
Strips of 35mm photographic negatives are hand manipulated in a Moviola editing machine and shot from its screen. The images are accompanied by a soundtrack by Christian Michelis. Hein considers this early anti-art film “even more concentrated than Rohfilm.”

Malcolm Le Grice, UK, 1967, b/w, silent, 8 min
“A film that makes its experience through specific cutting devices in the printing and processing technique, which mainly involved certain kinds of positive-negative superimposition.”

Malcolm Le Grice, UK, 1967, b/w, sound, 12 min
Le Grice’s early Materialist project was created by pulling 9.5mm home movie footage through the 16mm printer. In projection, the photographic images become difficult to read and the primary content becomes the film strip itself.

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Wilhelm Hein’s Secret Cabinet

Date: 20 May 2006 | Season: Wilhelm Hein

Saturday 20 May 2006, at 7pm
London Goethe Institute

Wilhelm Hein’s Secret Cabinet—Films From a Private Collection

This screening of films from Wilhelm Hein’s personal collection includes rarely seen works by some of the major artists of the last century, including Andy Warhol and Dieter Roth. The afternoon’s Materialist theme is extended with the process works of Tony Conrad and Peter Weibel, but here it collides with the German punk scene of the 1980s and the controversial performance art of the Viennese Aktionists Brus and Mühl.

KISS (excerpt)
Andy Warhol, USA, 1963, b/w, silent, 12 min
Three kissing couples from the Andy Warhol serial.

Andy Warhol, USA, 1964, colour, silent, 4 min
Underground superstar Mario Montez eats a banana … in his own special way.

Dieter Roth, Germany, 1956-62, b/w & colour, silent, 10 min
German artist Dieter Roth made early direct cinema experiments by physically punching holes into the film material.

Peter Weibel, Austria, 1969, b/w, silent, 1 min
“The film was produced by means of pressure rather than exposure – film as the trace of a touch rather than light.”

Tony Conrad, USA, 1973, b/w, silent, 3 min
What remains of raw, unexposed black and white film stock that has been violently battered with a hammer.

Lukas Schmied, Germany, 1993, b/w, sound, 10 min
Boredom, sex and destruction: A film that encapsulates the German punk aesthetic.

Kurt Kren, Austria, c.1970, b/w, silent, 3 min
An unknown, unseen, and unfinished work by the legendary Austrian filmmaker.

Günther Brus, Austria, 1970, colour, sound, 15 min
This final solo performance by Viennese Aktionist Brus is an extreme test of endurance and suffering.

Nikolaus Utermöhlen & Max Müller, Germany, 1981, colour, sound, 12 min
Oskar & Angie (aged 3 and 7 years) act out the tragic story of Sid & Nancy, punk’s royal couple, in a film by the art group Die Tödliche Doris.

Annette Frick, Germany, 2004, b/w, sound, 5 min
A film reconstruction of Marie-Guillemine Benoist’s “Portrait of a Negress” (1900).

Otto Mühl, Austria, 1969, colour, sound, 12 min
Dedicated to Bataille, this rarely seen film is a hilarious, subversive and explicit performance for camera.

Not suitable for persons under the age of 18.

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