Achim Lengerer


ZOOOOM was conceived as a two-part book publication in “narrative script form”, in which an already-existing script—that of François Truffaut and Jean Gruault’s L’Enfant sauvage (en.: The Wild Child) from 1969—should have been further edited or partially incorporated. The film is based on the biography of the feral boy Victor of Aveyron, as recorded by Jean Itard, a doctor for the deaf and mute. Victor of Aveyron was captured in the forests of southern France around 1800 and ended up, after some detours, at the National Institution for Deaf-Mutes in Paris. At the institute and later in his own country home, Itard attempted to teach the child to write, read and above all to speak. This last attempt failed, and Itard’s mission and pedagogic approaches are detailed in the doctor’s notes. Truffaut, who closely followed Itard’s notes, was an actor in his film for the first time—playing Jean Itard. After a long casting process for the role of Victor, Truffaut worked with a Roma boy by the name of Jean-Pierre Cargol, who had no experience as an actor.

Thus Truffaut doubled the chain of motifs: teaching, learning, teacher, student in his own attempt at learning in front of the camera.

For his residency at Künstlerhaus Büchsenhausen, Achim Lengerer worked on the production of the publication ZOOOOM I+II. Individual steps of the work process were presented in public events. The “tool” for this was Lengerer’s instant publishing series Scriptings. A hybrid between “script” and “writings” (even on a purely linguistic level) this format served both as a container for material and as a module in the production process: copy, transcription, notations, logbook.

In the 2011 summer semester, Achim Lengerer presented his work and working methods in the Film and Culture Theories in Artistic Practice seminar at the Institute of Languages and Literatures, Department of Comparative Literature, University of Innsbruck, which took place under the direction of Dunja Brötz.

Achim LENGERER is an artist based in Berlin and Amsterdam. In his work he deals with questions of language, which he realizes in performances or in installations. He has initiated several collaborative projects including Freitagsküche in Frankfurt and Berlin and voiceoverhead, a collaboration with artist Dani Gal. He has been running Scriptings, a traveling exhibition space and publishing house, since 2009. Scriptings functions as a discursive platform, building on and running parallel to Lengerer’s projects. Scriptings is open to artists, writers, graphic designers, performers and publishers—all those who make use of “script” and “text” formats in their respective production processes.