Rub your eyes. From the collection of Werner Nekes

July 22 - August 28, 2011

Part 1: Awangarda - BWA

(Wita Stwosza 32)

Part 2: Design - BWA

(Świdnicka 2-4)

The exhibits come from Werner Nekes Collection.

Werner Nekes is a prominent German artist who has been creating experimental movies and video art since the 60s. The retrospective of his works will be shown during the 11th International Film Festival New Horizons.

Nekes is also the owner of the most famous private collection of objects connected with the history of visual experimentation. Close to him theoretical reflections on the essence of cinema are reflected in both the nature of his filmmaking and in exhibitions in galleries and museums in the world showing historical objects from his collections.

The exhibition Rub your eyes for the first time in Poland will show some of the exhibits from this unique collection. It could be seen in two of Wroclaw's galleries: Awangarda and Design, in spaces specially arranged by the artist.

The collection includes works of art, spectacular presentations of scientific discoveries, voyeuristic machines, and visual toys that once served as attractions of circuses and fairgrounds. The exhibits are an illustration of the paradoxes of vision, optical experiments such as anamorphosis, perspective distortion and hidden images. The oldest exhibits from the collection date from the sixteenth century: books, panoramas, manuscripts, camera obscura, chronophotographs, laterna magica and praxinoscopes. All items relate to the early forms of animation, the pre-cinema era. The collection was shown previously in prestigious galleries and museums in Europe (including the Museum Ludwig in Cologne, the Hayward Gallery in London), Japan and the United States.

During the festival there will also be shown, featuring a collection, a series of movies by Werner Nekes Media Magica, a fascinating journey through the prehistory of cinema.

Werner Nekes was born in 1944 in Erfurt and studied linguistics and psychology in Freiburg. He then went to Bonn in 1964 where he was a head of the University Film Club and later chairman of the FIAG. He developed friendships with film directors, sculptors and painters. These included Dore 0., his companion and collaborator since 1967. He began painting in 1965 with diverse materials and objects. He started his practice of film with 8mm and went on with 16mm. He decided to free the film from narration and psychology and organized his films according to temporal units and structural systems. In spring 1967, his films were rejected by the Kurzfilmtage of Oberhausen. Thus, Nekes organized a counter-event.

The same year in November, he comes to Hamburg with Dore 0., whom he marries the following month. He was a co-founder of the Hamburg cooperative of filmmakers and was a co-organizer of the « Hamburger Filmschau » in 1967. From 1973, he travelled all over the world to make seminaries about film theory and retrospectives. He moved to Mülheim an der Ruhr in summer 1978.
He co-founded the Filmbüro NW in 1980 and the ICNC (International Center for New Cinema) in Riga in 1988.
His work was shown at major international museums and festivals, including The Museum of Modern Art New York, or the Kassel Dokumenta.

He was also a professor: from 1969 to 1972 and 2004 to 2006 at the Academy of Fine Arts (Hochschule für Bildende Künste) in Hamburg, from 1981 to 1982 at Wuppertal University, from 1982 to 1984 at the Kunsthochschule Offenbach, and, from 1990-96 at the Academy of Media Arts in Cologne.

Furthermore, Nekes has compiled one of the most important private collections of artefacts documenting 500 years of pre-cinematographic experiments as well as developments in the early history of film, focusing on spatial and temporal principles of representation.

Media Magica

Frances Terpak: The other Side of Werner Nekes

The project is part of Kultursaison NRW in Polen 2011/2012

Exhibition partner: BWA Wrocław Gallery of Contemporary Art

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