Kopierwerk, 2020, Stefanie Weberhofer

Recycled Cinema

May 25 to July 23, 2021

Together with the Viennale and in cooperation with sixpackfilm, the Film Museum dedicated its comprehensive October/November Recycled Cinema retrospective to the manifold manifestations of found footage cinema. However, a few programs from the series could no longer be shown because the second lockdown came into effect. We are happy to present some of these screenings now.
The title of our restrospective, Recycled Cinema, is much more than a poetic invention. A found footage filmmaker refuses to litter our world with more images of itself, refuses to perceive his/her own images as necessary, opting instead to breathe fresh life into an already existing body of images. While "found footage filmmaking," vast and diverse as it is, appears both marginal and elusive as the subject of a retrospective, the sheer number of artists who devoted their entire careers to found footage speaks to its lasting legacy and ongoing impact. There are the aforementioned, deeply ethical and political implications of working with footage to reframe discourse, to challenge identity and to rewrite history, there is the promise of an accessible and democratic art form that empowers independent filmmaking, "desktop cinema" avant la lettre, if you will. And then there is, of course, the world of aesthetic possibilities that this practice offers: poetics that transform the ever so often utilitarian banality of the industrial medium of film and turn waste into art.

Recycled Cinema celebrates both the global nature and character of the found footage tradition and its strong home base in Viennese arts practice and film culture. In this regard, the show also celebrates the curatorial and entrepreneurial excellence of Viennese film distributor sixpackfilm, born thirty years ago from a film series on precisely this same subject: found footage cinema. (Brigitta Burger-Utzer, Michael Loebenstein, Jurij Meden)

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