27 May – 3 June : Focus on Gustav Deutsch

After amazing visits of Peter Tscherkassky (2012) and Mara Mattuschka (2013) in EYE for the E*cinema academy programs, we are happy to announce that also this year we will continue our discovery of the Austrian experimental cinema with great works and presentations of Gustav Deutsch.

Edward Hopper, Hotel Room, 1931.
Edward Hopper, Office at Night, 1940.

The Austrian film director Gustav Deutsch, known for his previous works such as Welt Spiegel Kino (2005) and FILM IST.(1998-2002), presents with its latest film, Shirley – Visions of Reality, a stylized ode to the American painter Edward Hopper (1882 – 1967). The film sets in which the actors perform are exact reproductions of 13 famous paintings by Hopper, including Office at Night, Western Motel, Usherette and A Woman in the Sun. The initial inspiration for this work has been the research about the staging of reality, the telling of histories/stories and the dialogue of painting and film.

Hopper was a prominent American realist painter and printmaker. While he was most popularly known for his oil paintings, he was equally proficient as a watercolorist and printmaker in etching. Both in his urban and rural scenes, his spare and finely calculated renderings reflected his personal vision of modern American life. Inspired by the film noir, Hopper integrated direct references to the cinema in paintings like New York Movie and Intermission. On the other side, he influenced filmmakers like Alfred Hitchcock, Jim Jarmusch, Martin Scorsese, Wim Wenders and now, Gustav Deutsch.

Edward Hopper, Morning Sun, 1952.

Edward Hopper, Room in New York, 1932.

Hopper’s sharp contours, minimalistic composition, vivid colours and use of light have been meticulously imitated in Deutsch’s most recent film about the politically active actress Shirley (Stephanie Cumming). In the years between the 1930s and the early 1960s, Shirley hopes to make her mark on the course of history. As she does in the roles she performs, she wants to question, design and change reality. Major events in modern history pass by in short flashes of radio messages, from the Great Depression, the Second World War, the McCarthy era and racial conflicts to the Kennedy era and the civil rights movement.

Shirley01_photo_by_Jerzy_Palacz_web Shirley06_photo_by_MichaelaC_Theurl_web

Gustav Deutsch: As the starting point for this film, which has at its heart the staging of reality and the dialogue of painting and film, I selected Edward Hopper’s picturesque oeuvre, which on the one hand was influenced by film noir – in his choice of lighting, subject and framing as seen in paintings such as … More here: http://gustavdeutsch.net/index.php/en/component/content/article/194-visions-of-reality.html

More information about Edward Hopper’s life and works here: http://www.edwardhopper.net/#

Shirley02__photo_by_Jerzy_Palacz_web Shirley03__photo_by_Jerzy_Palacz_web

Shirley04_photo_by_MichaelaC_Theurl_web Shirley05

Shirley – Visions of Reality will be released in EYE and national film theatres on 29 May and Gustav Deutsch will be in EYE to attend its premiere, as well as to present some other film programs and to launch his new installation in the Arena of EYE, the Associative Image Atlas.

27 May 19:15: E*Cinema- Gustav Deutsch meets Edward Hopper.

Pre-premiere: 2 short talks and the opening of the Associative Image Atlas installation.
Mark Paul Meyer (senior curator at EYE) talks about Deutsch’s method of re-using existing images: Hopper’s paintings in Shirley and silent film fragments in his earlier work. Meyer supported Deutsch in making his Film Ist series as collection curator.
Jan van den Brink (programmer and film specialist) focusses on Hopper and discusses the extent to which the painter was influenced by German Expressionism and Hollywood B films of the 1930s and 1940s. He also discusses Hopper as a source of inspiration for filmmakers, with many film excerpts as examples.

After the pre-premiere, the Associative Image Atlas installation will be launched in the Arena (h 21.30). The Image Atlas was researched, selected and arranged as part of the film and exhibition project Shirley – Visions of Reality, which deals with the theme of staging of reality and of replication and reconstruction in art, using the example of Edward Hopper.


Pictures of the Associative Image Atlas:

atlas gustav deutschatlas gustav deutsch2

31 May 19:15: FILM IST. a girl & a gun with live music by Michel Banabila and Machinefabriek, who will be performing an original new score. Gustav Deutsch and Hanna Schimek are this evening’s special guests. The event is organized with financial support from CineSonic and the Goethe Institut Amsterdam.

Please find here a review about an interesting book on Film Ist and Gustav Deutsch by Livio Belloi:


31 May 21.30: Shirley – Visions of Reality (2013, 92 min, Austria, Language: English), with an introduction by Gustav Deutsch and Hanna Schimek.

3 June 19:15: Masterclass Visions of Reality by Deutsch and Schimek. (Language: English)

Please find here more information about a recently released book called “Light Image Imagination”, which is an anthology of text-and-image-essays, investigating the creation, perception and projection of images (both mental and material) and their specific relationship with light and imagination. The book was written by international scholars and artists who lead critical discourses in audio-visual media history, practice and theory, and edited by Martha Blassnigg, Gustav Deutsch and Hanna Schimek:


In this book the project of the Camera Obscura Building at the Aegina Island and its related Aegina Academy, a forum for Arts and Science, is presented by Deutsch and Schimek. Some introduction notes can be found here:


On Gustav Deutsch:
Gustav Deutsch (1952) has been described as a ‘filmmaker without a camera’ and a ‘juggler of found footage’. Like an archaeologist of film, he offers the audience a perspective on film history, re-arranged according to his own insights. Lifted out of their original context, the images re-edited by Deutsch prove to have a new appeal. His previous highly original explorations of the history of film from its earliest beginnings showed us how to ‘re-view’ early cinema. Deutsch made use of film fragments from EYE’s collections for his earlier work, including Welt Spiegel Kino (2005) and Film IST (1998), both of which were released by the Film Museum. For his first staged film, Shirley – Visions of Reality, Deutsch reviewed Edward Hopper’s paintings.
Here more information about Deutsch’s biography, filmography and related writings: http://gustavdeutsch.net/index.php/en.html


On Hanna Schimek:
Hanna’s interests and activities range among photography, installations, conception and organisation of interdisciplinary art projects. She has been involved in artistic research and curatorship in visual media and film, as well as in artistic works dealing with sociocultural context. Since 1985 she collaborates with Gustav Deutsch, and since 1997 she works under the label of D&S.


On Stephanie Cunningam:
Her biography: http://www.liquidloft.at/article175.htm


An exerpt from one of her performances:

Text and image compilation: Anna Dabrowska.


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