Volume 9, Issue 11 / November 2005
Austrian Avant-Garde Cinema
In this issue
Kurt Kren and Valie Export
Synaesthetic Videos from Austria
Cinema: “Food” for Thought
Fans, scholars, and students of experimental cinema should rejoice over the recent joint project to promote Austrian experimental/avant-garde film and video by INDEX, a specialty DVD label, in conjunction with Medienwerkstatt Wien and sixpackfilm. Offscreen is pleased to have had the opportunity to view some of these important works and present a special focus on seven of the fifteen DVDs that comprise the launch of this project. The issue is kick started with a two-part essay breaking the artists up, more or less, generationally, with the first part looking at the DVDs of the now deceased Kurt Kren (1929-1998) and Valie Export (born 1940), whose works on the two DVDs span from 1957 to 1995 (Kren) and 1970 to 1984 (Export). The second part looks at three DVDs by younger filmmakers Mara Mattuschka (born 1959), Gustav Deutsch (1952), and Manfred Neuwirth (born 1954). The works on these DVDs are all post-1984. Up next, Peter Rist examines the single DVD devoted to Peter Tscherkassky, concentrating his analysis on Tscherkassky’s most famous work, Outer Space. The task of discussing the DVD compilation “Sonic Fiction: Synaesthetic Videos from Austria” falls naturally to Randolph Jordan, who is presently researching a doctoral dissertation on sound in cinema. The issue rounds out, appropriately enough, with Austrian avant-garde pioneer Peter Kubelka. Although not a featured artist on the Index project, Kubelka, along with Kurt Kren, was one of the founding figures of structural cinema. The issue concludes with a translation of an interview which appeared in French on Hors Champ.