Heinz Emigholz, Still from "Bickels [Socialism]", © Heinz Emigholz & Filmgalerie 451
Heinz Emigholz, Still from “Goff in the Desert” (“Goff in der Wüste”), Germany 2002–03, © Heinz Emigholz and Filmgalerie 451
Heinz Emigholz, Still from "Loos Ornamental," Austria/Germany 2008, © Heinz Emigholz & Filmgalerie 451
Heinz Emigholz, Still from "Goff in der Wüste", © Heinz Emigholz & Filmgalerie 451
Heinz Emigholz, Still from "Streetscapes [Dialogue]" Germany 2015-17, © Heinz Emigholz & Filmgalerie 451
Heinz Emigholz, Still from "2+2=22 [The Alphabet]", © Heinz Emigholz & Filmgalerie 451

Oct 15–Dec 20, 2021

Counter Gravity

The Films of Heinz Emigholz

Monographic show and publication, screenings and conversations

Oct 15–Dec 20, 2021

Concrete between dynamic and static, the camera as a subject and the radical departure from narrative conventions: For the first time, the Counter Gravity retrospective shows the director’s collected architectural and recent narrative films.

A pioneer of experimental architectural and narrative film: Since his early work analyzing cinematic movement formations in the 1970s, Heinz Emigholz has developed a unique formal film language. He uses it to explore the relationship between film time and spatial experience, between memory structure and consciousness and the gap between ideological horizons of expectation and materially formed conditions. Heinz Emigholz’s film oeuvre today comprises around 100 films. At HKW, his collected architectural films will be presented for the first time in a retrospective overview along with notebooks, photographs, production notes and objects. Begun in the 1990s, this series is dedicated to the “complicated spaces” of both canonical and marginalized modernist architects, translating their spaces into cinematic, imaginary “architectures of time.” To date, the series includes works on the architecture of Louis H. Sullivan, Robert Maillart, Bruce Goff, Rudolph Schindler, Adolf Loos, Frederick Kiesler, David Chipperfield, Pier Luigi Nervi, Auguste and Gustave Perret, Samuel Bickels, Eliado Dieste and others.

The opening program will focus on the more recent feature films with which Emigholz follows up on his earlier works going beyond common narrative conventions, combining non-linear narrative forms with elements of architectural films. HKW will host the world premiere of his new film Berlin [Underground], in which Emigholz’s notebooks, which have formed a source code for his work since 1983, play the main role. The feature film The Lobby will be shown as a German premiere. Shot in the lobbies of various apartment buildings in Buenos Aires, it consists of a monologue by a character named “Old White Male” (John Erdman) about human relationships, consciousness and death is that both sardonic and misanthropic, grotesquely chilling and reflective.

The accompanying publication with picture essays by the filmmaker, encyclopedic filmographies and essays by Gertrud Koch, Dennis Lim, Ulrike Lorenz, Andreas Reihse and others is the first comprehensive overview of Heinz Emigholz’s works.

In cooperation with the monographic show at HKW, a second presentation of Heinz Emigholz’s films is planned for spring 2022 at the Techne Sphere Leipzig. The drawings of the series Die Basis des Make-Up will be shown there exclusively.

Retrospective curated by Anselm Franke in collaboration with Heinz Emigholz

Part of The New Alphabet