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Culture > Events > Figuration of showing – Figures of absence: The Films of Dore O.

Event Date: 24th Aug 2019 | 20:00

Figuration of showing – Figures of absence: The Films of Dore O.

Close-Up Film Centre 97 Sclater Street E1 6HR London


A rare chance to discover the work of avant-garde filmmaker Dore O..
The programme has been selected by Berlin-based archivist and scholar Masha Matzke, who will also introduce the screening.

Dore O.’s body of work appears to claim a certain autonomy within the dominating, yet diverse and irreducible currents of German experimental cinema. This rare programme of experimental films by the German artist Dore O. aims to show her consistent concern for a creation of an associative, almost pre-conscious flow of images and sounds and the deliberation of their sensuality, which cannot be easily interpreted or approached verbally nor intellectually. Going beyond both the purely personal and merely formalistic, her work thwarts the logics of her contemporaries in its intimate and highly enigmatic poetics which are inextricably linked to a meta-filmic exploration of the moving image, the properties of celluloid film and of modes of perception. In her films, one can observe the constantly evolving examination of the geometric conditions of the projection surface through a filmic reality that is experienced and captured foremost as image(s) unfolding in multilayered tableaus that occupy a state in-between opaqueness and translucency, hypnosis and clarity. Rhythmic counter-plays between depth and surface, stillness and motion, planes and phantoms, multiple frames and picture-in-pictures all function "to create new architectures of old forms” (Dore O.). As in no other work within German experimental cinema, her striking films retrace an historical trajectory in which painterly, graphic and poetic conceptions of the medium are made-over into distinctly cinematic terms that eventually serve as a means for exploring new modes of subjectivity and states of consciousness. The highly musical and hypnotic nature of these pictorial stratifications, in combination with radical soundscapes, are carried over into her later works of the 1990s.

Dore O. was born in 1946, Mühlheim on the Ruhr, Germany. She received her formal education and studied textile engineering and painting in Krefeld, Germany, and Italy until 1967. As a fine artist Dore O. has produced a variety of books, objects, installations and photographic work (mainly different series of Polaroid’s) and has exhibited internationally. She made her first film Jüm-Jüm (1967) in collaboration with Werner Nekes, whom she married in 1976. Between 1966 and 1986 she contributed to his films in multiple ways. She was one of the founding members of the Hamburg Film Co-op (1968-1974) and one of the very few experimental filmmakers who remained dedicated to avant-garde film practices after a noticeable decline of experimental film culture in Germany from the mid-1970s onwards. As the first female filmmaker Dore O. won the First prize at the 5th International Experimental-Film Competition in Knokke (Belgium) for her film Kaskara. Her filmic work was part of documenta 5 in 1972 and documenta 6 in 1977. After completing her last film in 2000 Dore O. has continued working in the fields of fine arts, (often para-cinematic) installations and photography up to the present day.


Masha Matzke is a Berlin based film archivist and scholar at the film archive and restoration department of Deutsche Kinemathek, where she is currently involved in the restoration of Dore O.'s work. She is working on a monograph on Dore O. which is supposed to be published in English in 2020.



Programme Details:

JÜM-JÜM
16mm / 10min / color / 1967 / by Dore O. and Werner Nekes
«In Jüm-Jüm the girl on the swing flies up, hesitates, goes up and up and back and embarks ' on further rhythms. […] The girl on the swing turns into a staccato movement, a light/colour symbol of movement. We become detached from the girl and can see only visual rhythms.» (Stephen Dwoskin)

ALASKA
16mm / 18min / color / 1968 / by Dore O.
«An emigration film: a dream of myself, the consequences of the act with society.» (Dore O.)

LAWALE
16mm / 30min / colour / 1969 / by Dore O.
«Memory is a cruel hope without awakening.» (Dore O.)

KASKARA
DVD / 21min / color / 1974 / by Dore O.
«A balance of being enclosed in divided space.» (Dore O.)

XOANON
16mm / 11min / color / 1994
«Placeless and bodiless these images describe in their sequence the secret order and structure of the space by means of appearing and disappearing, rising and falling. Like sand in which the painter draws his lines over and over again.» (Karin Stempel)

Total duration: 90 minutes


Close-Up Film Centre
97 Sclater Street
E1 6HR London

Posted: 1st Aug 2019 | 13:22

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