Larry Gottheim introduces rare screening of Klaus Wyborny films at Light Industry next week (3/31)

From: Thomas Beard (email suppressed)
Date: Thu Mar 26 2009 - 08:55:14 PDT

Light Industry

Two Films by Klaus Wyborny
Introduced by Larry Gottheim

Tuesday, March 31, 2009 at 7:30pm
220 36th Street, 5th Floor
Brooklyn, New York
Light Industry presents two films by Klaus Wyborny. A key figure of
experimental cinema in Europe and a noted influence on artists like Derek
Jarman, his work is all too rarely seen in the US. We feel a revival is long

Pictures of the Lost World, 1974, 16mm, 50 mins
"Wyborny trained as a mathematician, worked as a cameraman on Werner
Herzog's Kasper Hauser. He first attracted the attention of the New York and
London avant-gardes five years ago for his elliptical narratives, Dallas
Texas - After The Gold Rush (1971) and The Birth of a Nation (1973). Their
plots, 'collapsed' by the optical transformation and repetition of
individual shots, move from anecdotal narrative to an examination of
narrative construction itself. His method was analogous, in a way, to that
of novelists like Robbe-Grillet (e.g. Jealousy), though Wyborny was far more
interested in the actual materials of film than were the french 'new
novelists' when they turned to cinema. His work was further characterised by
a romantic appreciation for desolate, ruined vistas. The 1975 Pictures of
the Lost Word is clearly an outgrowth of this concern and, in its virtual
abandonment of storyline, forms a bridge to his subsequent, more purely
structural films.

"For 50 minutes or so Pictures presents a series of static, or gently
swaying images which are sometimes bucolic landscapes but more often
industrial ones (sludgy harbours, power lines, abandoned railway stations or
deserted factories). The interplay between the two sets of imagery is not
simple. Wyborny photographs his modern ruins at their most ravishing - at
dawn or sunset, partially reflected in the water or glimpsed through the
trees. Shots recur throughout, optically printed into brilliant colours or
else, given the washed out quality of fifth generation Xeroxes. As there are
few people shown, one's impression is of a planet that is populated mainly
by cows, barges and hydraulic drills.

³On the soundtrack, a pianist improvises a slow, chord-heavy piece that adds
to an overall sense of lush melancholy. Towards the end, Wyborny begins to
parody his own nostalgia. The images repeat in rapid-fire clusters while the
pianist switches to a maddening seven-note phrase, playing it over and over,
like a record stuck in a groove. In its mock symphonic form, the film is an
ironic exaltation of the Œpastoral ideal¹ (still a strong strain in both
British and German avant-garde films) as it celebrates the entropic beauty
of the same satanic mills that drove Wordsworth in the countryside and
Schiller to decry the 'degeneration' of European culture...If Wyborny's work
is a harbinger, the European avant-garde is surely in the midst of a
full-scale renaissance. " - J. Hoberman, Village Voice (1978)

Unreachable Homeless, 1978, 16mm, 25 mins
Could it be true that Bergson's dream of durée in the movies can't be
achieved by following the intentions of Lumiere's patterns? That it can only
be reached by misusing an invention that wanted to depict continuous
movement and thus carried the tormenting germs of representational time?
That only the most terrifying destruction of physical continuity that is
achievable by camera operations can give the spectator at least an idea of
what durée can mean in film? The most admirable invention of the narrative
cinema, the inevitable and systematic return - out - usually one of the
worst carriers of non-durée - can become the Santa Maria that sails to
reconquer the realms of real time? That nobody takes any notice of you? That
the only trace of your appearance that is perceived by other people is your
despicable body odour? If these questions and more torment you in your
dreams and are a trouble to your days, you might find a few answers in
watching Unreachable Homeless. The main character of this film is a person
who wakes up one morning and realises that he is but a robot. In the course
of the day his appearance changes and when finally night dissolves his
identity, we participate in the most horrendous sexoaesthetic inversion any
human has witnessed to date.

Tickets - $7, available at door.

About Light Industry
Light Industry is a venue for film and electronic art in Brooklyn, New York.
Developed and overseen by Thomas Beard and Ed Halter, the project has begun
as a series of events at Industry City in Sunset Park, each organized by a
different artist, critic, or curator. Conceptually, Light Industry draws
equal inspiration from the long history of alternative art spaces in New
York as well its storied tradition of cinematheques and other intrepid film
exhibitors. Through a regular program of screenings, performances, and
lectures, its goal is to explore new models for the presentation of
time-based media and foster an ongoing dialogue amongst a wide range of
artists and audiences within the city.

About Industry City
Industry City, an industrial complex in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, is home to a
cross-section of manufacturing, warehousing and light industry. As part of a
regeneration program intended to diversify the use of its 6 million square
feet of space to better reflect 21st century production, Industry City now
includes workspace for artists. In addition to offering studios at
competitive rates, Industry City also provides a limited number of low-cost
studios for artists in need of reasonably priced space. This program was
conceived in response to the lack of affordable workspace for artists in New
York City and aims to establish a new paradigm for industrial
redevelopment--one that does not displace artists, workers, local residents
or industry but instead builds a sustainable community in a context that
integrates cultural and industrial production. For more information:

For info on FrameWorks, contact Pip Chodorov at <email suppressed>.