Institut Seni Indonesia Denpasar, Indonesia   &
CinemaWithoutWall, Denpasar, Indonesia
03. Januar 2020  |  January 3rd, 2020

[ supported by the Braunschweig University of Art (HBK)
and Niedersächsisches Ministerium für Wissenschaft und Kultur (MWK) ]

Werkschau | Michael Brynntrup  –  Think Small Without Border

Indonesian Institute of the Arts Denpasar abbreviated as ISI Denpasar is a college of art organized by the Ministry of National Education which is under and directly responsible to the Minister of National Education. ISI Denpasar functionally supervised by the Director General of Higher Education Department of Education. ISI Denpasar was established in 2003 which is the integration of the Indonesian Arts College (STSI) in Denpasar and Study Program of Art and Design (PSSRD) of Udayana University.
(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indonesian_Institute_of_the_Arts,_Denpasar- uptodate200229)

CINEMA WITHOUTWALL is a movement that takes cinema beyond borders for people. With several programs such as international Film Lab, Film Roadshow and Impact, CWW strives to gather international young filmmakers all around the world to collaborate, learn, create and screen films that can bridge people and make an impact.
(program notes minikino.org, September 2019)

Man nannte ihn bereits den „Posterboy des deutschen Undergroundfilms“: Michael Brynntrup, Medienkünstler, Professor für Experimentalfilm und eine feste Größe auf internationalen Festivals. Er selbst fasste seine Biographie recht knapp zusammen: „Tod des eineiigen Zwillingsbruders bei der Geburt, seither Studium der Philosophie.“ Sein bisheriges Leben war allerdings weniger kontemplativ als produktiv. – Er hat ein umfangreiches Werk geschaffen, das sich mit Themen wie Tod, Geburt, Medien, Grenzüberschreitungen, Extremen und Tabus auseinandersetzt.
(Programmtext Lichtblick-Kino Berlin, Oktober 2014 - Hansi Oostinga)

Michael Brynntrup is an experimental film-maker and media artist living in Berlin. With short movies, shot mostly on super 8mm, he became the poster child of German underground cinema in the 1980s. Soon he moved on to his personal version of a Cinema of Transgression, self-obsessive and self-abusive, focussing on issues like death, birth, narcissism, while simultaneously commenting on mass media and the medium of film itself. Brynntrup is a regular guest on international film festivals, where his films have won numerous prices. Since 2006 he is also a professor of film and video at HBK Braunschweig.
(program notes Image Movement Berlin, July 2013 - Andreas Reihse)

[english]   [deutsch]

Programm | Details  –  Think Small Without Border
[ 32 min | 1986-2016 | 8 filmvideo ]

3 min | 1986 | Super8 | bw | sound [MBCFILM#16]
As said. - bravo, bravo, bravo, bravo, bravo, bravo, bravo, bravo, bravo, bravo, bravo, bravo, bravissimo, bravo, bravo, bravo, bravo, bravo, bravo, bravo, bravo, bravo, bravo, bravo, bravo, bravo
{Information sheet of the film, 1986}

2 min | 1987 | Super8 + 16mm | col | sound [MBCFILM#18]
(Intermezzo) | (intermezzo)
Women piss too - only less.
{Information sheet of the film, 1987}
DAS ELFENBEIN, Totentanz 1
THE IVORY - Death Dance 1
3 min | 1988 | Super8 + 16mm | col | silent
DAS ELFENBEIN, Totentanz 2
THE IVORY - Death Dance 2
3 min | 1988 | Super8 + 16mm | col | sound
DAS ELFENBEIN, Totentanz 3
THE IVORY - Death Dance 3
4 min | 1988 | Super8 + 16mm | col | sound
"Totenkopf (The Skull), highest elevation of the 'Kaiserstuhl' (557m). - Kaiserstuhl, upper Rhineland mountains with terminal moraine (30m high). - Moraine, a sediment also containing artifacts and skeletal remains."
{Information sheet of the film, 1988}
Brynntrup has already coded his films »DER ELEFANT AUS ELFENBEIN, TOTENTANZ 1-3« (1988) with the dialectical challenge of the here and now, the before and after, the freezing of the moment, the Christian hope for salvation, 'Vanitas and Memento mori'. "The Death Dances don't deal with death, it's life that counts." and "Hereby the author expressedly and irrevocably declares that he has already pronounced his opposition to nuclear death and the death penalty on other occasions." Brynntrup's films neither protest nor do they abort a critical view on human civilization. The avoidance of one-dimensionality leaves the films open to different levels of meaning that overlap each other as they circle around death 'and' eros. They seem to touch and enliven facets of social reality. Example: AIDS.
(catalogue on the Cineprobe at MoMA, New York - Berlin, April 1992 - Christoph Tannert, translated by Constance Hanna)
NY 'NY 'n why not
NY 'NY 'n why not
4 min | 1999 | 35mm | col | stereo [MBCFILM#53]
(Musikfilm) | (music film)
WALK / DON'T WALK / WALK. The rhythm of the nineties.
A music stroll along Christopher Street.
{Information sheet of the film, 1999}
The Jury Award is in recognition of the exceptional quality and diversity of gay and lesbian German films in this year´s Berlinale. Beginning with the inspiring selection of »AIMÉE & JAGUAR«, the first lesbian film to open the Berlinale; to (...) »NY 'NY 'N WHY NOT«, these five German films brilliantly represent the gay and lesbian community and the talent of German film-makers on the world stage.
(Special TEDDY Award 1999, International Berlin Film Festival PANORAMA)
TV-X-PERM. (mein Schwulsein als Auftragsarbeit)
TV-X-perm. (Being Queer As A Commission)
3:20 min | 2002 | DV | col | sound [MBCFILM#57]
(TV Portraitfilm) | (TV film portrait)
My Gay Self-Portrait For Arte TV.
Being queer as a commissioned work.
Elastic Reality[TM] as program.
{Information sheet of the film, 2002}
Who is gay: the film, the film-maker or even both? Magnificent commissioned work.
(VIDEOEX Festival, catalogue, http://www.videoex.ch - May 2003)
The Hong Kong Showcase (eine Fallstudie)
The Hong Kong Showcase (a case study)
3:20 min | 2005 | DV | col | stereo [MBCFILM#64]
(minikino) | (micro movie)
“The world is everything that is the showcase.”
Living in a globalized world - a case study.
(loosely based on Ludwig Wittgenstein, Tractatus logico-philosophicus, sentence no.1)
{Information sheet of the film, 2005}
The Emporio Armani shop window in Hong Kong is a small theatre of the global fashion industry. At night, a window cleaner sways across the stage, accompanied by classical Chinese music.
(http://www.idfa.nl/idfa_en_filmdescription.asp?filmid=27497, October 2006)
YOU-AND-ME (Exotika)
you-and-me (exotica)
3:30 min | 2012 | HD (16:9) | col | sound [MBCFILM#76]
(Fotofilm) | (photo film)
I want to take a photo with you. / Ok, we can do.
Perfect. So we did a photo. And we do a photo too.
{Information sheet of the film, 2012}

2:12 min | 2016 | HD (+GIF) | bw+col | stereo [MBCFILM#79]
(maschinenlesbarer Film) | (computer generated film)
Bye-bye, bits and bytes: I’ve mathemetized myself into digital codes.
-- .. -.-. .... .- . .-.. -... .-. -.-- -. -. - .-. ..- .--.
QR code (abbreviated from Quick Response Code) is an optical label that contains information arranged in a square grid on a white background, which can be read by an imaging device (such as a camera, scanner, etc.) (en.wikipedia.org)
Bye-bye, bits and bytes: I’ve mathemetized myself into digital codes.
{Information sheet of the film, 2016}



Being used to a certain aesthetic presented in mainstream TV and cinema, people often find experimental short films strange and hard to digest. However the personal works of Michael Brynntrup, one of the most profilic German filmmakers working mainly on the underground circuit, are regarded as small jewels of cinematic culture that are very appealing and attract enthusiastic audiences.

Michael Brynntrup often performs the leading role in his movies. Yet his films are different than the films originating from an autobiographical filmmaking tradition in North America who use private lives as a form of artistic expression. When Michael Brynntrup exposes his subjectivity, it's not a one-to-one representation and he addreses always the human being in general. His films can be seen as experimental reflections of a narcissistic artist who presents himself as a man portraying himself to others who are supposed to recognise themselves in him.

"I see cinema, in essence, not as mass media, but as an individual experience that takes place in the mind of each viewer." (Michael Brynntrup) He leaves the audience to decide on the ambivalence of his work and to reflect on themselves while identifying with the exposed character in the film. As an experimental and independent filmmaker who sees his work as a medial self-reflection (film as metafilm) and working from a gay male perspective, he tries to direct his films to different contextual and technical limits. How well can reality be presented? What limits do morals and the media set? Despite his preoccupation with heavy existential themes of death and personal identity in his work, his vision is often ironic. He is able to integrate a personal diaristic strategy using humour and pathos to subvert, to create films which are both intimate and visually stunning.

(Tampere International Short Film Festival, catalogue March 2004 - Maarit Jaakkola)

Michael Brynntrup

Born in Münster, Germany, 1959. Studied in Freiburg, Rome and Berlin. Master degree Fine Arts at the Braunschweig School of Art in 1991. Experimental poems, texts, paintings, photography, fotocopies, performances, installations and exhibitions since 1977. Over 70 experimental short films and videos since 1981, three feature films. Digital art in interactive media since 1995 (CD-ROM, DVD and internet).

Film exhibitions at the Museum of Modern Art New York (1987, 1992 and 1999). Numerous international exhibitions and film awards. Organisation of avantgarde and gay film events for museums, institutions and international film festivals. Publications on Super8 and Off-Off-Cinemas. Guest lecturer on Experimental Film and Interactive Media (e.g. at Merz Akademie Stuttgart and at Beijing Normal University Zhuhai/China). Since 2006 Professor for Film/Video at Braunschweig University of Art. - The artist lives and works.

Personal notice: As an independant 'experimental' film-maker who sees his task in particular in a medial self-reflection (film as metafilm) I try to lead films in all its different forms to contextual and technical borders. (And naturally I make the viewers come along to these borders). I comprehend film in its essence not as a mass media but as an individual experience which takes place in the head of each viewer.


Michael Brynntrup

Geboren 1959 in Münster/Westfalen, Studium Kunstgeschichte und Philosophie in Freiburg und Rom. Seit 1982 in Berlin, 1987-91 Studium Freie Kunst (Filmklasse der HBK Braunschweig, Prof.Büttenbender/Hein), 1991 Meisterschüler. Diverse Künste und Copyart seit 1977. Über 60 Filme und Video (drei Langfilmprojekte) seit 1981. Digitale Künste in interaktiven Medien seit 1995 (CD-ROM, DVD und internet).

'Film Exhibition' im Museum of Modern Art New York (1987, 1992 und 1999). Zahlreiche Werkschauen, viele Filmpreise, Organisation und Präsentation von Experimentalfilm-Reihen im In- und Ausland. Stipendiat des Kunstfonds e.V. Bonn (1993). Publikationen zu den Themen Super-Acht und Berliner Off-Off-Kinos. Gastdozenturen für experimentellen Film und interaktive Medien (u.a. an der Merz Akademie Stuttgart und an der Beijing Normal University Zhuhai/China). Seit 2006 Professor für Film/Video an der Hochschule für Bildende Künste Braunschweig. - Der Künstler lebt und arbeitet.

Persönliche Anmerkung: Als unabhängiger 'experimenteller' Filmemacher, der seine Aufgabe vor allem in einer medialen Selbstreflektion sieht (Film als Metafilm), versuche ich, Film in allen seinen Erscheinungsformen an dessen inhaltliche und technische Grenzen zu führen. (Und selbstverständlich nehme ich den Zuschauer immer mit an diese Grenzen). - Ich begreife Film in seinem Wesenskern nicht als Massenmedium, sondern als individuelles Erlebnis, das sich vor allem in den Köpfen jedes einzelnen Zuschauers abspielt.