Rainer Bellenbaum

Kinematografisches Handeln / Cinematographic Practices

For his book project Cinematographic Practices Rainer BELLENBAUM investigated the impetuses, potential and effects of a cinematographic approach, particularly as articulated in gallery and installation film. The art/film critical investigation centered on works by artists whose practices are heavily characterized by their own migration experiences and where questions of cultural identity, memory and political participation play as essential a role as appropriation or reflection on historical models of documentary, experimental film, drama and propaganda. These entanglements reveal both the barrier-breaking processes that have been ongoing since the 1990s and the related cultural movements of globalization. These were elaborated upon in a larger discussion of the context of contemporary artists’ interest in film.

A second motivation for the investigation was to reflect on historical interactions between art and film, to the extent that these also negotiated topics of identity, memory and political participation. Interventions from 1920s Dada-inspired “absolute films” were discussed along with other works by the post-war avant-garde, which minimalistically focused on the peculiarities of the cinema apparatus. Examples from auteur cinema, which was influenced by debates over realism, provided further fields of reference.

Rainer Bellenbaum supplemented and enriched his prior research during his Fellowship at Büchsenhausen. Texts and visual material produced were compiled and edited for the presentation in the form of lectures and an exhibition.

In the 2011 summer semester, Rainer Bellenbaum 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.

Rainer BELLENBAUM (*1957) is a Berlin- and Vienna-based media studies scholar, film and art critic. His work includes, among other things, artistic short films and collaborations (as from 1983), camera work, research and television contributions (1986-2005), texts for a number of art magazines (Texte zur Kunst, springerin, Camera Austria) and book publications (since 2004).