Lutz Mommartz: the breath of the sheep and the sea is infinitely beautiful
Lutz Mommartz, Carrie Skinner
26 January 2017, 7pm
Lutz Mommartz, 3 Gläser (3 Glasses), 1967. The Lutz Mommartz Film Archive.
In the first comprehensive survey of German experimental filmmaker Lutz Mommartz in the UK, the breath of the sheep and the sea is infinitely beautiful delves into the artist’s extensive archive to present a series of his most chaotic, absurd, brilliant, and strange analogue experiments. This event is generously supported by the Goethe-Institut and The Lutz Mommartz Film Archive.
This free screening event will include an introduction from curator Marcus Jack, a newly commissioned performance responding to the archive from Berlin and Glasgow based artist Carrie Skinner, Q&A with filmmaker Lutz Mommartz, and is accompanied by a limited edition print newspaper.
Lutz Mommartz (b. 1934, Erkelenz) began working with 16mm film in 1967 whilst working for local government in Düsseldorf. In the same year Mommartz was awarded for his work Selbstschüsse at EXPRMNTL 4 (Festival du Film Expérimental de Knokke-le-Zoute, Belgium), an event since credited as a turning point in the spread of structuralist and avant-garde film across Europe. Its influence was felt in the tentative formation of a European Filmmakers Co-op and markedly on the members of the London Filmmakers Co-op, now LUX. From 1978 to 1999 Mommartz taught at the Kunstakademie Münster as the Professor of Film. Mommartz now lives and works between Düsseldorf and Berlin.
Throughout his prolific career Mommartz’ practice has repeatedly encircled the figure, sometimes disembodied, sometimes marked by absence; critical to this process is a will to collaborate. Included among these collaborators are the artists Joseph Beuys, Tony Morgan, and Ludwig Chateau; actors Renate Meves and Eddie Constantine; and musicians Mama Woju.
The Lutz Mommartz Film Archive is available to view with Creative Commons licence on the Internet Archive and is administrated by Till Nachtmann, Stefan Silies, and Kai Kraatz. the breath of the sheep and the sea is infinitely beautiful is curated by Transit Arts.
Part I: Perform
︎Early Interviews, 1963–1968. 16mm transferred to video, 4 min 26.
︎Dreharbeit (Shooting Operation), 1982. 16mm transferred to video, 10 min 49 sec.
︎3 Gläser (3 Glasses), 1967. 16mm transferred to video, 3 min 50 sec.
︎Altersporno (Old Age Porn), 1970. 16mm transferred to video, 5 min 57 sec.
︎Haircut, 1974. 16mm transferred to video, 4 min 46 sec.
︎Depthiness, 2017. HD video, 13 min 10 sec.
Live transmission by Carrie Skinner with adapted extracts from: NASA , Apollo 11 Technical Air-to-Ground Transcript, 1969; and, Jean Cocteau, Jean Cocteau s’adresse… à l’an 2000, 1963.
Part II: Surrogate
︎Die Treppe (The Stairs), 1967. 16mm transferred to video, 6 min 38 sec.
︎Selbstschüsse (Self Shots), 1967. 16mm transferred to video, 6 min 14 sec.
︎Das Atem des Schafes (The Breath of the Sheep), 1970. 16mm transferred to video, 9 min 43 sec.
︎Fokus (Focus), 1987. 16mm transferred to video, 3 min 10 sec.
︎Margret’s Film, 2007. SD video, 15 min 26 sec.
︎Kleine Stücke (Little Pieces), 2012. SD video, 3 min 52 sec.