A Trilogy: 50 Years of the Austrian Film Museum
Available from March 6, 2014 | Book Publication
With a major three-volume publication, the Film Museum wants to illuminate its programming and collections activity since 1964 from various perspectives.
Volume 1 is a work of historical research, describing in detail the establishment and development of the institution from post-war Viennese film culture and its protagonists to the tenth anniversary of the Film Museum in early 1974. The book evokes Austria's cultural climate and its changes between the late 1950s and early 1970s, highlighting the struggles of the two Film Museum founders who were not yet 30 when they began their endeavor ("juvenile students" in the civil service lingo of that era). The text also touches on international film politics (in relation to FIAF) and on the late 1960s clashes between Vienna's "actionist" underground scene and the Austrian Film Museum.
Volume 2 extends the time frame up to the year 2014 and offers a richly illustrated anthology of essays, documents, memories, and correspondence. It highlights the major retrospectives staged by the Film Museum over a period of 50 years and celebrates many of the visiting artists as well as the writers who contributed to the museums international recognition or to its curatorial positions. The newly commissioned pieces range from literary texts and brief flashes of remembrance to extended discussions of certain aspects of film culture. A decade-by-decade, year-by year, month-by-month chronicle of all programs also runs through the book. The group of writers and artists represented here with essays and correspondence includes Herbert Achternbusch, Robert Beavers, Ruth Beckermann, Eileen Bowser, Paolo Caneppele, Paolo Cherchi Usai, Serge Daney, Werner Dütsch, Hemut Färber, Harun Farocki, Gertie Fröhlich, Michael Glawogger, Frieda Grafe, Erika & Ulrich Gregor, Peter Huemer, Danièle Huillet, Chuck Jones, Peter Kubelka, Friedrich Kurrent, Michael Loebenstein, Len Lye, Groucho Marx, Michael Omasta, Reinhard Priessnitz, Eric Rohmer, Raoul Schmidt, Ulrich Seidl, Paul Sharits, Don Siegel, P. Adams Sitney, Dominik Steiger, Ingeborg Strobl, Sissi Tax, Harry Tomicek, Peter Tscherkassky, Friedl vom Gröller and Ingo Zechner
Volume 3 focuses on the museum's holdings by picturing and describing 50 objects from various subfields of the collection. At the same time, the book suggests a non-dogmatic reading of film history. The 50 selected items represent a rough timeline, from the pre-cinematic moving image arts to pixelized film grain, tracing a material culture deeply entangled with the history of the 20th century and far from the reductive idea of cinematic "glamour" that is so often associated with movie memorabilia. The images and text describe a territory where political and private lives, art and terror, famous and marginalized films, and desired and despised objects, all engage in conversation with each other. This picture book in 50 chapters begins with a cinema and ends with a cactus (or vice versa).
The books are being published by FilmmuseumSynemaPublikationen. Vol. 1 and 3 are in German, Volume 2 includes several contributions in English.
Projects in the framework of the Film Museum's 50th anniversary are supported by the Austrian Film Institute, the City of Vienna and the Austrian Federal Chancellery.