Film und Bildende Kunst
vhs 004

1981, Farbe, 11 Min.
Regie: Werner Nekes und Dore O.

Werner Nekes und Dore O. erhielten für diesen Film den "Preis der deutschen Filmkritik 1981"

"Zehn Minuten spricht Beuys, mit dem Gesicht zur Wand, dem Rücken zur Kamera, über seinen Kunstbegriff. Diese radikale, schlichte Form erscheint dem Gegenstand des Films völlig adäquat...
Knapper, präziser, schnörkelloser geht´s wohl nicht.
Ein großer Kunst-Film." Ingo Petzke, medium, 7/1981

"...einfach umwerfend, ein Geschenk von Experimentalfilmer Werner Nekes an den Kunstprofessor Joseph Beuys zu dessen Sechzigsten...Der Film ist so grotesk und doch so tiefsinnig wie die Aktionen dieses Künstlers selbst - `ein Kunstwerk`(Nekes) versteht sich , an sich."
Michael Fischer, Deutsches Allgemeines Sonntagsblatt, 17.5.1981

The artist Joseph Beuys talks about his concept of art – with his face turned to the wall and his back to the camera. A tribute to the artist at 60, radical in its simplicity and totally adequate to its subject.

(The exhibition Joseph Beuys - Actions, Vitrines, Environments opens on 4 February 2005 at Tate Modern and continuous until 2 May 2005. For more information on the exhibition and accompanying film programmes see

1976, Farbe, 72 Min.
Ton: Anthony Moore

1. Knoten - 30 Min., Farbe, stumm;
2. Gewebe - 15 Min., Farbe, Ton;
3.Textur - 11 Min., Farbe, Ton;
4. Geflecht - 16 Min., Farbe, Ton;

Eine Folge von vier Filmen - Kinematographische Malerei durch Verbindungen, Verschmelzungen verschiedener filmischer Ebenen in Mehrfachbelichtungen. Aufbau des Bildes aus Farbpunkten und Auflösung des Bildes in Farbpunkte, Aufbau des Bildes aus Bildflächen und flächenhafte Auflösung des Bildes durch Schichtungen, Aufbau und Aufhebung von Bewegungskontinuitäten durch Veränderung der Raum - und Zeitachsen und deren unterschiedlichen Beziehungen zueinander sind einige der visuellen Themen der Filme. Die strukturelle Behandlung des gesammelten Lichts, der Stofflichkeit des Films, drückt sich assoziativ in der Verwendung der textilen Titel aus .
Genau darin liegt die Stärke von Nekes: schon im Rohzustand `schöne`
Bilder erlangen durch die Bearbeitung und Verarbeitung oft fast hypnotische Intensität..."
Ingo Petzke, 22. Westdeutsche Kurzfimtage, Oberhausen 1976

"Geflecht ist ein Film, der mich sehr, sehr interessiert hat, der mich wirklich tief bewegt hat."
Norman McLaren, Montreal, Canada 1977

Germany 1975/76, 16mm, colour, 16min. Sound by Anthony Moore.

In the four parts of this film, Nekes dissolves pictures, layers and merges images, creates and breaks continuities of movement to transfer the principles that underlie different styles in painting to the medium of film. The titles of the four parts – Knoten ( knots), Gewebe (fabric), Textur (texture), Geflecht (meshwork) – reflect the structured treatment of the captured light and the material substance of the film.

About Geflecht (meshwork), part IV of Amalgam

This film not only achieves painting's high pictorial quality, with 24 'living" canvases per second Geflecht in fact leaves Pointillism far behind.

Double to quadruple exposures of the original material with normal exposures of subject at 24 frames per seconds and the most various techniques of single frame exposure with different point distribution. Optical processing: double exposure with diverse phasings of freeze frames of varying length (from 10 to 120), fading in and out constantly. Freeze frame (of stills and four picture sequences), shots (non-animation) with triple-exposure of point planes in mountainous waves of light.

"If filming really is painting in light, as Louis Delluc once postulated, then it was surely only a matter of time before film makers would turn to the principles of Pointillism. For a long time Nekes the innovator pondered this project. The result, in its effect on the audience, exceeds all expectation….

In Nekes' films it is increasingly difficult to maintain an intellectual distance to the images presented. The reason: the inner structure grows more complex at precisely the same rate at which the outer structure is reduced. In this development Geflecht represents a culmination and it is incomprehensible why (inattentive) viewers still act so violently to Nekes' radical aesthetics. The stumbling blocks of outer structures, ostensibly protruding in an all too jarring manner, have all but disappeared. However, even those not wholly fascinated and thrilled, might make an interesting discovery pertaining to the technique employed. Up to now, one part of T-WO-MEN excepted, Nekes has processed his material in the camera itself. No one save Stan Brakhage has exploited the potentional of the 16mm camera to the same degree as Nekes, discovering and inventing new possibilities all along. Geflecht breaks radically with this tradition, since it was given shape only in the optical printer. This is new for Nekes, and it remains to be seen whether it is a unique diversion, necessitated by stylistic considerations. or a departure to new shores.

More in line with the known Nekes is the programmatic title of the film, which refers to its optical processing. 11 shots, the length of which ranges from 18 seconds to 3 minutes 46 seconds, are arranged in loose sequence. Each individual frame from the original material, in part processed in the camera, is extended 10 to 120 times. During this extension the original image is faded out slowly while the following is faded in at an equally slow pace. This creates dissolving segments linking one picture to the next and weaving them together to form a network, a Geflecht. (Ingo Petzke, in: Bericht über die 22. Westdeutschen Kurzfilmtage, Oberhausen 1976)
Both texts in Ekkehard Klaukien, Uwe Nitschke and Uwe Schmelter, eds. Werner Nekes. Munich: Goethe-Institut 1987/91, pp14,15

1974, Farbe, 38 Min.
Ton: Anthony Moore

Makimono ist das asiatische Rollenbild, das eine Landschaft zeigt. Gegenstand des Films ist die Filmsprache selbst, ihre Veränderbarkeit mit ihrem Einfluß auf das Denken und Sehen des Zuschauers. Im allmählichen Fortschreiten des Films wird der Zuschauer behutsam dazu aufgefordert, die Entwicklung des Films in seinen Ausdrucksmöglichkeiten zu reflektieren.

"..., daß der Film den Zuschauer, um mit Nietzsche zu sprechen, als `künstlerisch schaffendes Subjekt` ernst nimmt, macht ihn politisch und - ...progressiv... Der Film duldet keinen Moment auch nur den Anflug einer passiven Rezeption, keinen Konsum."
Parmentier/Rittelmeyer, Universität Göttingen

1974, 16mm, colour, 38min. Sound by Anthony Moore.

From a fixed camera position a landscape in Sweden is filmed. Simply depicted at first, it slowly evolves from natural scenery to optical material as the camera movements become faster. Contemplation changes into the experience of pure movement.

Makimono is an Asian roll painting depicting a landscape. The subject of the film is the language of film itself, its mutability and its influence on the viewer's vision and thinking. While the film gradually progresses the viewer is gently invited to reflect on the development of the film in its expressive potential.

"The title refers to Japanese landscape painting in rolls. Furthermore it indicates the film's theme, the balance of colours (blurred tones of blue, green and grey) and the type of montage that gives priority to continuity of development rather than to disruption and contrast. This continuity is achieved by dissolving and double exposures and by extremely long pans. The rhythm accelerates: a meditation on landscape, which unfolds before the eye or is visually paces out, gives way to fluidity and pure motion, to a feeling of dizziness, the result of two contrasting camera movements. The world resembles a reflection in the water; then, however, rapid montage creates a calligraphy consisting of the quick and sharp black strokes of a Hartung painting, until one finally arrives at the glittering simplicity of an early movie where each frame still retains the weight of its individual tracks, or earth and or the world. Anthony Moore's soundtrack strikingly agrees with the images presented and by means of three consecutive modulations bestows unto them the structure of a concerto." (Helmuth Fenster, L'Allemange à Knokke. In: L'Art Vivant, Paris, Feb 1975, reprinted in Ekkehard Klaukien, Uwe Nitschke and Uwe Schmelter, eds. Werner Nekes. Munich: Goethe-Institut 1987/91, pp.