23 August 2009, Sunday

18.00–20.00 Budapest Kunsthalle, presentation room
Werner Nekes: Uliisses,
Budapest screening, with the author’s presence

18.00–20.00 outside Budapest Kunsthalle
Miklós Bölcskey: Camera Obscura performance

20.00–22.00 Budapest Kunsthalle, exhibition space, after the screening of Werner Nekes
Budapest bauhaus lab presents the polyfilm modulator

18.00–20.00 Budapest Kunsthalle, presentation room

Werner Nekes: Uliisses
French, 1982, 35/16 mm, color, 94 min., English/German dialogue

After Ulysses by James Joyce, The Odyssey of Homer, The Warp by Neil Oram. Team: Bernd Upnmoor, Birger Bustorff, Dore 0., Herbert Jeschke, Volker Bertzky, Gisela Schanzenbach. Astrid Nicklaus, Werner Nekes. Music: Anthony Moore, Helge Schneider, musicians from the Science Fiction Theatre of Liverpool. Cast: VA WölfI, Tabea Bloomenschein, Russel Denton.

“Nekes’ films derive from and thrive on Art, set light, color, man and music in estranging motion and show disconcerting, stimulating possibilities for play. It is in experiments such as these that the language of film is developed.”
(Brigitte Jeremias, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Oct. 14, 1982)

“It is not easy to animate poetry visually since the fascinating Power of the imagination is all too easily numbed by pictures. Nevertheless, Uliisses is a masterpiece.”
(Doris J. Heinze, Oct. 1982)

Awards: “Film of the year” (London Filmfestival 1982), “Goldener Filmdukaten” (Internationale Filmwoche Mannheim 1982), “Placa da Prata” (Festival Internacional de Cinema, Portugal 1983), Preis der Arbeitsgemeinschaft der Filmjournalisten e.V., 1983, Prädikat “Besonders wertvoll”.

“Werner Nekes, one of the best known of the German experimental/avantgarde filmmakers, has attempted a stylistic tour-de-force in Uliisses, which derives not only from James Joyce and Homer but from Neil Oram’s The Warp. The result, for the experimentally minded, is a fascinating transposition of visual and verbal motifs from the originals into what Nekes calls a ‘Homerian journey through the history of the pictures of light, ordinarily called photography and cine­matography.’ He takes the brain as the creator of light (in this case Ulysses’ brain) and transposes his wanderings into a contemporary setting, i.e., West Germany in September 1980. Ulysses/Bloom becomes a photographer named Uli, Penelope/Molly becomes his model and Telemachus/Stephen becomes Phil. The ‘narrative’ of the film consists of analogues of Homerian episodes involving Calypso, Nestor, the Lotus Eaters, Proteus, the Cyclops, etc. Nekes concludes his film with visual storm, the culmination of what he describes as ‘Lighterature’ or writing with light.”
K.W. Aus: canyon cinema, film/video catalog 2000

“Nekes’ latest film provokes praise such as this in a very special way. In my opinion Uliisses is his masterpiece up to date. As an excellent historian of cinematography, Nekes has always taken care that his own inventions are correlated to history as such. In this narrative the instruments of cinematographic history are reflected upon in their influence on our perception of the world, as well as in their metaphorical realization. Uliisses offers a wealth in metaphors of light, as no other director has previously achieved.”
(Bazon Brock, Aug. 1982)



18.00–20.00 outside Budapest Kunsthalle

Miklós Bölcskey: Camera Obscura performance

In his performance, Miklós Bölcskey involves the audience to create the dark space for the image: he asks participants to hold a large black tarp. It is in this space that the fleeting images of the outside world become visible, as they are projected on smoke, a translucent material or a bottle. These interesting, anamorphic images of reality can even be recorded with a digital camera, establishing a curious relationship between darkness, light and vision, and the laws of physics on the one hand, and digital technology on the other, a method that dispenses with the century-old procedure of developing images that are wrapped in darkness.


20.00–22.00 Budapest Kunsthalle, exhibition space,
after the screening of Werner Nekes

Budapest bauhaus lab presents the polyfilm modulator

The Bauhaus, which had probably the most far-reaching influence of all 20th-century schools of art, was founded ninety years ago. To celebrate the anniversary, the cultural directorate of the city of Weimar initiated the bauhaus lab network, a cooperation of five European institutions which was to complement the events of the 2009 Bauhaus year, and which was supported by the Culture Programme of the European Union. The non-localized network was to produce new artistic projects, as well as to initiate and coordinate research and events: contemporary art in this framework was to be considered a basis, a method or a technique for possible interdisciplinary cooperation practices, thereby paying tribute to the ideals of the historical Bauhaus.
The artistic research that C3 coordinates in Budapest is one among several different, self-sufficient but contacting projects, with László Moholy-Nagy’s relationship to film as its point of departure. The programme kicked off with workshops jointly organized with the Intermedia Department of the Hungarian University of Fine Art, chaired by Ivan Ladislav Galeta, Dóra Maurer, Hans D. Christ, Tanja Siems & Theo Lorenz (AA London - bauhaus lab) and Jan Brüggemeier (Crash!Boom!Bau! Festival). It was from the discourse of artists participating at the Budapest workshops that the idea arose of a device that can not only project motion pictures but can simultaneously move the projections. Since the simultaneous or polyfilm idea that Moholy-Nagy discusses in his well-known Painting, photography, film features the synchronous projection of three films, we chose to build a version with three projectors, and gave it a name that refers to Moholy-Nagy’s classic Light-space modulator(Lichtrequisit, Light Prop).
The polyfilm modulator is the result of genuine interdisciplinary work, and proves that real coop­eration is possible between artists, engineers, programmers and theoreticians, though specialization seems even more entrenched today than at the time of Moholy-Nagy. The premiere in Budapest Kunsthalle also features the first films made. Three films will be shown at the same time, using projectors that can be turned by 180 degrees horizontally, and 45 degrees vertically, performing any movement within these limits. More than a device, the polyfilm modulator can be considered an “open work” that enables anyone who can handle the simple program to make and present a simultaneous (poly)film of their own.

Participants: Gábor Áfrány*, Miklós Bölcskey, Edina Cecília Horváth*, k27 (Réka Mózes, Péter Gurszky, Márk Radics), Katarina Ševi?, Ádám Lendvai*, Beatrix Szörényi, Szabolcs Tóth-Zs.*
Concept and coordination: Miklós Peternák, Éva Kozma, Evelin Páll, Dóra Maurer
Engineering: Tibor Meszes, custom machine designer
Motor controller (CNC): PLEXIPI Prototyping GmbH
Videostream synchronization: Maurer Tamás, programmer
*authors of the films presented

Further information:

Partners of the bauhaus lab project:
Department of Cultural Affairs of the City of Weimar, Weimar (DE)
Architectural Association, London (GB)
C3 Center for Culture & Communication Foundation, Budapest (HU)
E-Werk, Weimar (DE)
Émaho, Marseille (FR)
Theaterhaus Jena, Jena (DE)


European Commission Culture programme (2007-2013)
National Cultural Fund
PLEXIPI Prototyping GmbH