Heinz Emigholz - Biography
Heinz Emigholz, is a German artist, writer, filmmaker and producer. Heinz Emigholz was born in 1948 near Bremen in Germany. He founded Pym Films in 1976. Heinz Emigholz has held a professorship in Experimental Filmmaking at the Universität der Künste Berlin since 1993. Heinz Emigholz co-founded the Institute for Time-based Media and the program Art and Media, at the University of Berlin. In 2003 Filmgalerie 451 started an edition of all his films on DVD. Heinz Emigholz is a filmmaker whose works challenge the definition of film. Through testing the spaces between photography and film, Heinz develops a unique aesthetic that speaks as much of his life as of the architecture of the artistic process itself. As viewers confront his work they enter a unique space of melancholic beauty.
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 encyclopedic drawing series The Basis of Make-Up. His early films explore avant-garde and Experimental forms moving between abstract spaces and natural wonder. All his films continually challenge traditional narrative structures. Heinz Emigholz moved towards working with words in his film Demon (1976/77). This film explores the phenomenological experience of space disregarding a singular perspective. Demon is based on the poem "Le Démon de l’Analogie" (The Demon of Analogy) by Stéphane Mallarmé.
Heinz Emigholz work The Whitman Project (2007), continues his experimentation with the reproduction of literature into visual forms. The film is shown with a split screen; one screen follows a German-speaking actor and the other follows an English-speaking actor. The two actors are simultaneously in uninterrupted tracking shots reciting Walt Whitman texts. Walt Whitman was heavily influential to Heinz Emigholz, as all the figures he focused on in his Architecture as Autobiography series. The actors walk within the same rural scene with injured Civil War soldiers.
In Heinz Emigholz's film D’Annunzios Höhle (2002-2005), the horrible reality of fascism is explored. The film shows fifteen rooms of the Villa Cargnacco in Gardone on Lake Garda, where Gabriele d’Annunzio moved in 1921 and lived until his death. The villa is part of the "Vittoriale", a museum-like theme park honoring d’Annunzio that d’Annunzio himself and his personal architect Giancarlo Maroni spent almost two decades designing and furnishing. Gabriele d'Annunzio was a very famous writer involved in pre-fashist Italian politics. The gaudy aesthetic is contrasted with the reading of the texts of Joseph Conrad. Conrad was a contemporary of d'Annuzio. Heinz Emigholz admires Joseph Conrad's writings for their affective style and despised d'Annuzio for his artificially blown up ideological pieces. In the film, the texts of Conrad are read by a computer as the camera inspects the Villa Cargnacco. Heinz Emigholz uses a pop song at the end as a type of exorcism on this damned house.
As a technical medium, film projects the spaces of memory themselves rather than presenting them solely by means of a mental trick. The media of writing, drawing, photography, film, electronic imagery and computing have shifted the complex art of recollection into a readily-available array of technically -generated storage systems. The ancient art of the rhetorician is still present, albeit in rudimentary form, in the memorizing of text by actors and speakers. However, such texts have lost their authority. An actor could just as well speak a text with quite the opposite meaning. He can at best ape the ancient storytellers, but he will never be consumed by the meaning of the text.
Emigholz, Heinz. "Two Notes on Photography and beyond." in: Lecture at EGS, Saas-Fee. August 15, 2010.
Heinz Emigholz's films include: Loos Ornamental (2008), Schindlers Häuser (2006-2007), Sulivans Banken (2007), D’Annunzios Höhle (2002-2005), Goff in der Wüste. Architektur als Autobiographie – Bruce Goff (1904-1982) (2002/03), Miscellanea III (1997-2005), The Basis of Make-Up III (1996-2005), Schlafes Bruder (1994/95), Stalingrad (1991/92), Der zynische Körper (1986-1990), Die Wiese der Sachen (1974-1987), Home Movies 1971 - 1981 (1985), The Basis of Make-Up (1979-1982), The Basis of Make-Up I (1974-1983), A Study of Mary (1979), Normalsatz (1978-1981), Bartleby (1976), Demon, Die Übersetzung von Stéphane Mallarmés „The Demon of Analogy“/„Unheimliche Analogie“ (1976/77), Der Ort der Handlung (1976/1977), Hotel (1975/76), Stuhl (1974/75), Tide (1974), Arrowplane (1973/74), Schenec-Tady III (1972-1975), Schenec-Tady II (1973), Schenec-Tady I (1972/73) and Morningglory-Fragments (1971).