Kinetic Image presents the animated artwork of ten artists from five former socialist Central European countries who will showcase their animated film or video installation and connected artwork like photograms, sketches, drawings, and other materials. From each country one film will be shown from the socialist, and another from the post-socialist period. The earlier films are made using analog technique, while most of the later ones are digital.
Animation in fine art is an undefined field which has not yet become a genre of artistic expression on its own, but it is definitely an emerging form of both practice and theory. For Art Historians film is still isn’t regarded as part of the Fine Art meaning that it is not integrated into its taxonomy.
The exhibition can not hope to present a detailed historical overview of the phenomena of animation in Fine Art, nor to create a definitive list of animated films made by fine artists. Our aim is to give an insight into the diverse approaches of artists using this medium.
curated and organized by Lívia Rózsás
David Možný (1963, Brno) is a visual artist working in Brno. His works are based on computer-generated images. He is a part time teacher at the New Media Department of the Faculty of Social Studies at Masaryk University. He also performs as vj dfx in local clubs.
Rahova (2008-2009) by favour of the artist
Rahova was created from the photos taken by the artist in the Rahova neighborhood of Bucarest. Pieces of the blocks of flats come alive via the tension between the decaying concrete and the high tech construction of images. Compounded with electronic music these elements act to create the collision of urban VJ culture with the neighborhood’s architectural fragments. Rahova may be seen as a critical document on the themes of architecture and urbanism. Možný has been inspired by Romanian housing estate called Rahova that belongs to the biggest one in Eastern Europe. Rahova is the huge urban complex in Bucharest, Romania. It was built in the late 70's, early 80's and it is a typical example of a pre-cast concrete panel apartment building architecture. Rahova began as a kind of a utopia which turned into urban heterotopy: it is the city inside the city with sharp distinct borders. Although it was built to last as a heawyweight monument, nowadays it is silently disintegrating. Rahova is the urban crash-test, the concrete nightmare, the housing machine, the skeleton of a dinosaur, the worn-out mask made out of concrete, the home of 180 000 people. Rahova is the kingdom of surface, where individual annihilate into the drowsy sky, the place with no dead end streets, the place uneasy to capture as well as the place you can hardly be captured in: the lack of any distinctive feature makes it's importance just out of different shades of concrete grey.– D.M.
Frantisek Skála (1956, Praha) is a Czech sculptor, painter, childrens book illustrator, musician, and dancer. He graduated at the Academy of Applied Arts Prague (UMPRUM) where he studied Film and Television Graphics. The Tros Sketos group of which he is a founding member has been honoured at the Karlovy Vary Film Festival. In 2004 he mounted a solo exhibition at the most received contemporary exhibition hall in Prague, the Rudolfinum.
Frantisek Skála: The Eyes (Oči) (1982) by favour of the artist
Using an array of analog techniques, the film is based on an Ivan Wernish poem. It depicts the fragmented memories of departures and arrivals through the eyes of a sailor who is remembering home. In this oil-painting animation the surfaces of the filmed materials appear in their textured reality. An almost abstract sequence shows the bride of the sailor vanishing into the distance. The technique emphasises the metamorph character of memories.
Awards: Honourable Diploma - Varna 1983, Second prize - Stuttgart 1984
Robert Seidel (1977, Jena) studied Biology before changing to Media and Design. He graduated at Bauhaus University, Weimar. In his films which have had screenings in museums as well as at film festivals, Seidel’s scientific orientation is tangible. He is interested in stretching the boundaries of the perception of organic beauty by combining visual and scientific technology. By layering different structural, spatial and temporal concepts organically he creates a slowly evolving complex visual frame waiting to be filled by the viewer’s own disposition and memories. Thus, the interpretation of the work is the result of the seamless blending of artistic intent and the audience’s own experiences.
_grau (2004) by favour of the artist
In _grau the narrative is basically decided by the wiever, unless they have prior knowledge of the artist’s concept. Organic forms morphing into abstract, airy and colourful configurations are all a quick succession of memories of a human life. _grau is a personal reflection on memories coming up during a car accident, where past events emerge, fuse, erode and finally vanish. Various real elements were distorted, filtered and fitted into a sculptural structure to create not a plain abstract, but a very private snapshot of an entire life.
Lutz Dammbeck (1948, Leipzig) studied at Hochschule für Grafik und Buchkunst, Leipzig. He is a professor at Hamburg and Dresden Art Academies. In 2005 he received the Käthe Kollwitz Prize. Beside creating animations, he has recently been recognised as a filmmaker and intermedia artist. Between 1985 and 2010 he participated with animation and, since 1992, he has been making documentaries which have been subsequently selected at many international film festivals. His works of fine art were shown at the Internationale Biennale in Sao Paulo and in museums like the Los Angeles County Museum, Hamburger Kunsthalle, Nationalgalerie Berlin and Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt am Main and others.
Einmart (1981) by favour of the artist
„One especially amazing production is Lutz Dammbeck’s short animated film Einmart (1981) which the filmmaker and film academic Claus Löser once described as „the most compact impossibility” in DEFA’s film history” as it is explicitly deals with fantasies of fleeing. This bleak animated film, which also has real film and found footage sequences in it, reveals an attempt by a head-and-feet creature to flee in a kind of flying apparatus from its barren surroundings that are as grey as the Bitterfeld chemical factories district in the GDR and have fossilised creatures and peculiar controllers there. However in its attempt to flee it bumps - like many others - against an inpenetrable wall of the dome and plunges down. The film was withdrawn quite quickly because of its explosive subject-matter, however it was screened in connection with the East German Leipzig Festival for Documentary and Animated Films, after which it was invited to the International Short Film Festival Oberhausen in West Germany. Another reason why Lutz Dammbeck is a central figure of artistic animated film in the GDR because he denoted the interface between the official DEFA productions and the Super 8 underground movement. (…) After his negative experiences with the DEFA studio system and before he was finally permitted to move to West Germany, Dammbeck concentrated on multimedia installations which however repeatedly contained animation elements.”
Ágnes Háy (1952, Budapest) started out as a graphic artist, but she began to experiment with animation in the late 60’s. She worked in Studio Béla Balázs (BBS) between1972 and 1986, which was a studio for young directors and from the early ’70es it became open to all artists who had cinematic ideas. Her films are mostly filmsemiotical experiments. The techniques she uses are not new in animation, though she made the first dough animation in Hungary. Nevertheless, her films share an individual character, as she exposes the basic questions of analog techniques and object movement. With the words of Miklós Erdély: ’…the films of Háy are not so… just one can feel that there’s no other way to shoot a film.’
Gyurma – Színház – Hamburg/ Dough - Theater - Hamburg (1985)
by the favour of the artist
This film is an assemblage of three films: Dough: 1972, Theatre: 1983, Hamburg: 1982. There are no stories, instead the narrative structure is created by the demostration of the possibilities of different techniques and the artist’s approach to these. The film won the first prize in the Experimental category at the KAFF (Animated Film Review Kecskemét) 1986.
Waliczky Tamás (1959, Budapest) started out by creating cartoon films (1968-83), then he worked as painter, illustrator and photographer. He began working with computers in 1983. He was artist-in-residence at the ZKM Institute for Visual Media in 1992, and subsequently a member of the Institute's research staff (1993-1997) before taking up a guest professorship at the HYPERLINK "http://www.hbks.uni-sb.de" \t "_blank" HBK Saar, Saarbrucken (1997-2002). The HYPERLINK "http://www.iamas.ac.jp" \t "_blank" IAMAS in Gifu, Japan, has choosen Waliczky as artist-in-residence in 1998/99. From 2003 until 2005 he is professor at HYPERLINK "http://www.img.fh-mainz.de" \t "_blank" IMG, Fachhochschule Mainz. Since 2005 he is at HYPERLINK "http://www.hbks.uni-sb.de" \t "_blank" HBK Saar again, in this time as full time professor. His works won numerous international awards, including the Golden Nica of Prix HYPERLINK "http://www.aec.at" \t "_blank" Ars Electronica, Linz, was shown in several exhibitions worldwide, including the Lyon Biennale, the HYPERLINK "http://www.ntticc.or.jp" \t "_blank" ICC Gallery Tokyo, the Multimediale Karlsruhe and are in different public collections.
by favour of the artist
Marionettes is a seven minutes long computer animation about collapse. Marionettes are controlled by strings. If there is no string, they collapse. Nobody animates the body. If nobody animates the body, it will be animated by natural forces. Mass. Gravity. Collision. Randomization. In this animation the animator does not animate in the traditional term. Therefore we can say it is an anti-animation.The forces which control the movements of the marionettes calculated by physical simulation algorithms. Therefore these movements are strictly mathematical ones. They are dramatic, too. They visualize collapse in physical and - amazingly enough from puppets animated by machines - psychological meaning.
Franciszka & Stefan Themerson (1907-1988, Warsaw; 1910-1988, Płock) were pioneers of the Polish cinematic Avant-garde. Around 1930 they started to collaborate in experiments using photography and film. They shot seven films together but only the last three still exists. Among their many artistic achievements, the films of Stefan and Franciszka Themerson stand out as significant contributions in the history and development of European experimental cinema. Franciszka graduated in Painting at Warsaw Fine Art Academy and Stefan studied Physics and Architecture. They married in 1931. They lived in Warsaw, Paris and than in London, where they founded the Gaberbocchus Press.
The eye and the ear (1944-45)
"Experiment — exercising to see the result. We planned Europa not as an experiment in this sense but as a work of art. Yet The Eye and the Ear was done as a consciously designed experiment. Not every avant-garde dealt with experiments and not every experiment equalled avant-garde."- Stefan Themerson
The couple’s last film, The Eye and the Ear reflects their desire to produce a visual equivalent to music. Their aim was similar to Oskar Fischinger’s, Len Lye’s or Norman McLaren’s, except they had a more scientific approach: they used the medium of film to analyse musical structures. Subtitles describe the function of each element that appears on the screen.
Piotr Bosacki (1977, Poznań) writes music and makes animated films. Rarely does he create objects, as probably the nature of his art is better manifest in elusive intangible forms. He composes simple closed systems of symmetrical structures so as to show, by reworking the configurations they potentially offer, their inner complexity and their potential for inherent combinations, only to return to the starting point eventually. The animated movie is Bosacki’s favourite medium. When making a cartoon, he masterfully makes use of all of its prime features, first and foremost the synthesis of word and image.
Film sznurkowy / String Movie (2005) by favour of the artist
String movie is shot with stop-motion technique. We see a labyrinth looking board. The paths are filled with two-colored threads which are controlled by the artist. Initially the threads form an ellipse but then they get tangled and untangled until they again create the shape of an ellipse. The film is constructed with minimalist simplicity and a philosopher’s passion. The humour of the film seems to stem from its structure.
Daniela Krajčová (1983, Žilina)
In my work I try to find new ways to combine classic media (drawing, painting) with new media (animation, video, installation). I am interested in movement in space, the visualisation of it, looking for special places in our everyday environment where something happened or could have happened. I express it in non-linear narration avoiding typical storytelling rules. I like working in "documentary approach" with real persons through which I present the problem I want to expose. Either the social theme of being different, integration in new environment, family bondage, or keeping memories connected to some places, creating personal architectures of someone's stories. – D. K.
Lenght of their Stay (2008)
by favour of the artist
Lenght of their stay is a mosaic created by fragments of stories told by 20 immigrants of different nationalities living in France. The lodging's advertisements symbolize the naive imagination of "happy life". Objects in one room evoke the memories of immigrants, drawn from photos of their families in their native country. The sound of turning pages underlines the quick and formal demeanor they demonstate with regard to their situation. The lyrical documentarist approach, which is not a general characteristic among animated productions, is perceptible in the film.
Vladimír Havrilla (1943, Bratislava)
Perhaps the most typical intermediary artist of the contemporary Slovak art scene is Vladimír Havrilla. He draws, paints and even writes. He also started using computer animation in order to execute his earlier spatial concepts.
by favour of the artist
Lift is one of the twenty super8 films produced, directed and shot by Vladimír Havrilla between 1972-1982. After this ten year period he abandoned film making until recently. He returned to making films but switched from Super 8 to computers. In Lift Kata Daučikova and her sister are shown jumping and dancing on a tennis court. As the film is shot frame by frame, with the technique of pixillation we can only see the two women in air, as if they were floating above the painted lines of the tennis court