SLAUGHTERHOUSES OF MODERNITY
An exploration of the dual character of architectural modernism in the field of tension between avant-garde and political propaganda through the analysis of the quasi-fascist architecture of Francisco Salamone’s slaughterhouses, the utopian buildings by Freddy Mamani Sylvestre, and the restorative “City Palace”.
In his series “Photography and Beyond” begun in 1983 and now comprising thirty-five magnificent films, Heinz Emigholz presents the milestones of modern architecture in sequences teeming with photographic detail. If Slaughterhouses of Modernity does not belong to this series strictly speaking, it draws heavily on the two last episodes about the work of Francisco Salamone and Freddy Mamani. The first built public buildings, cemeteries and slaughterhouses in the Argentine pampa during the Infamous Decade; the second built incredible glitzy buildings in El Alto, Bolivia, that defied any functional austerity and drew inspiration from indigenous styles. And when needed, Emigholz has no hesitation in returning to older images from the series to establish a link between Salamone’s public buildings and a post office designed by Angiolo Mazzoni in Mussolini’s Italy; or in introducing brutal cuts to send, for example, a German palace into the middle of the Altiplano. The structural programme is totally overturned by the eclectic and heretical logic of the essay, multiplying polemical stances, signs of black humour and eccentric sequences so as to form a ferocious critique of modernity, trapped between the avant-garde and totalitarian propaganda; between “places where modernity commits slaughter and places where it is slaughtered”.
Heinz Emigholz, born in 1948 near Bremen in Germany, 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 encyclopaedic drawing series “The Basis of Make-Up”. He looks back on numerous exhibitions, retrospectives, lectures and publications. In 1984 he started his film series “Photography and beyond”. He has held a professorship in Experimental Filmmaking at the Universität der Künste Berlin from 1993 to 2013, and co-founded the Institute for Time-based Media and the program Art and Media, there. Since 2012 he has been member of the Academy of Arts in Berlin. In 2003 Filmgalerie 451 started an edition of all his films on DVD.
Filmgalerie 451 (Frieder Schlaich)
Heinz Emigholz, Till Beckmann
Esteban Bellotto, Rainer Gerlach, Ueli Etter, Markus Ruff, Christian Obermaier, Jochen Jezussek
Till Beckmann, Heinz Emigholz
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