Heinz Emigholz is a filmmaker, writer, drawer and producer. The collaboration with Filmgalerie 451 started with his film THE HOLY BUNCH.
The works of Heinz Emigholz again and again explore the border areas between art and film. After his early experimental works had received international attention, Emigholz’s main work focuses on the ambience of architecture. In his films on the constructions of e. g. D’Annunzio, Goff, Maillard, Perret and Nervi the “most accurate observer of architecture”, how Variety has named him, dedicates himself to the origins, the fate, the triumph and end of architectural Modernism.
In the last few decades three feature films (STREETSCAPES [Dialogue], THE HOLY BUNCH, THE MEADOW OF THINGS) and 22 architectural films had been distributed by Filmgalerie 451 as well as the influential early work of Heinz Emigholz (THE FORMATIVE YEARS I and THE FORMATIVE YEARS II). For more details regarding formats and subtitles please visit the respective film page.
Born in 1948 near Bremen in Germany, Heinz Emigholz trained first as a draftsman before studying philosophy and literature in Hamburg. He began filmmaking in 1968 and has worked since 1973 as a filmmaker, artist, writer and producer in Germany and the USA. In 1974 he started his encyclopaedic drawing series “The Basis of Make-Up”. He looks back on numerous exhibitions, retrospectives, lectures and publications. In 1984 he started his film series “Photography and beyond”. He had held a professorship in Experimental Filmmaking at the Universität der Künste Berlin 1993-2013, and co-founded the Institute for Time-based Media and the Art and Media program, there. In 2003 Filmgalerie 451 started an edition of all his films on DVD. Publications a.o.: Krieg der Augen, Kreuz der Sinne (War of Eyes, Cross of Senses), Seit Freud gesagt hat, der Künstler heile seine Neurose selbst, heilen die Künstler ihre Neurosen selbst (Since Freud Said That the Artist Heals His Neuroses Himself, Artists Have Been Healing Their Neuroses Themselves), Normalsatz – Siebzehn Filme (Ordinary Sentence – Seventeen Films) and Das schwarze Schamquadrat (The Black Sqare of Shame) (all four books were published at Verlag Martin Schmitz); “Die Basis des Make-Up (I) and (II)”, “Der Begnadete Meier”, “Kleine Enzyklopädie der Photographie” (Small Encyclopaedia of Photography) and “Die Basis des Make-Up (III)” (in Die Republik No. 68-71, 76-78, 89-91, 94-97 and 123-125); Sense of Architecture with more than 600 photographs. Heinz Emigholz is a member of the Academy of the Arts in Berlin.
Heinz Emigholz on his film series “Photography and beyond”
“Photography and beyond” is a series of around 80 long and short films about art and design I started in 1983. Subject of the films are “projections” that become visible as writings, drawings, photography, architecture and sculpture. A reverse visual process is analyzed: seeing as expression, not as impression. The eye as the interface between the brain and the outside world, the gaze as a compositional force that projects an idea into the outside world or comprehends it by means of cinematography. From the writings, drawings, and studies of the works of various architects something indescribable is formed: an expression in film of the objectification of mental thought. It is “Design about design”. The question for me was: What kind of consciousness is generated by spaces and places themselves without an interfering dramatization? To be able to think about space we have to represent space, and in film we do that by setting up a media space between image and brain. Two-dimensional pictures arranged in science-fiction-like time structures and soundscapes that represent or contain pieces of reality. Since I began filmmaking 45 years ago and for me filmmaking is synonymous with doing the camera work myself I was fascinated by framing: by construction and composing an image, within a given rectangle. I am not an architect and I have little knowledge of designing three-dimensional objects, but I see myself as a specialist being capable of transferring a three-dimensional situation onto a picture plane. My building materials are surfaces and decisions. Decisions about viewpoints and how to depict a certain time of the light, just a moment, a short span of time but that moment is “real”, will be contained, is becoming a piece of time that once was and can now be reproduced and witnessed during a projection. And then these constructed images made possible be an already constructed three-dimensional reality are piled up in a linear fashion in our brains in the acts of seeing and remembering, and thus film becomes an imaginary architecture in time. And one might be able to meditate then about, what architecture is, was and what it might be in the future. But to let that happen one has to separate words from images. Because what these images could tell you are essentially not words and sentences, but spaces and surfaces and their relationships, because these are the ingredients of the architectural experience. I do not illustrate a thought or a linear sentence because that would deprive the viewer from the experience of that special space transformed into an image and with space I mean a “mind” or “spirit” that moves. A space beyond gravity.