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Themesicon: navigation pathArt and Cinematographyicon: navigation pathEditorial
Art and cinematography
Gregor Stemmrich


«Cinema and art are one of those double acts, which provoke endless bad seminars, dull conferences and boring exhibitions based on art and something similar. The desire to enter the world of mainstream cinema is extremely attractive to artists who have flirted with the meanings generated by the medium». [1]

Liam Gillick 2002

Reading the above quotation by the English artist Liam Gillick might almost make you think that a module called «Art and Cinematography» is doomed to failure from the outset. Gillick expresses a certain disappointment that many artists are looking for a kind of cultural importance in the cinema that art cannot offer in quite the same way, but that curators, art critics and theoreticians take the fact that the cinema is attractive to artists as a reason for relating art to «something similar». But they are thinking exclusively in terms of art. However, Gillick also expresses disappointment with reference to the cinema itself: «In some ways cinema is one of the grave disappointments of the 20th century in terms of the way it has become formalised. But the experience and potential of cinema is completely different.» [2] This last sentence does not


quite cancel out the disappointment, but it identifies a viewpoint from which it can be treated in a different way: the cinema has established various codes, some of which we are not even aware of as such, but ultimately this does not impinge on our experience of cinema: this experience relates to one potential of the cinema that is not captured or exhausted by any kind of formalism.

In the course of the 20th century, both filmmakers and fine artists have repeatedly—in ways that are sometimes very different and sometimes very similar—have tried to release this potential. Here they were very well aware of art's and the cinema's heterogeneous cultural connections—a heterogeneous quality that cannot be removed by explaining that cinema is also an art. Each of the two contexts opens up special perspectives on this potential, so that one has no reason to separate the two contexts when the aim is actually to establish a historical perspective on the complex attempts that have been made to recognize such potential and to articulate it aesthetically. And so perhaps an Internet model, which as such has neither a special affinity with the art

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