6/64 Mom and Dad (An otto Muehl Happening)
Material happenings: Otto Muehl, Kren´s first actionist film. Muehl is said to have turned pale at the premiere.
With the making of his sixth film 6/64: Mama and Papa, Kren introduced subject-matter that was considered at that time to be highly revolutionary or even explosive. He began filming "actions" and "happenings" staged by Otto Muehl and Günter Brus, and by the Vienna Institute for Direct Art.
Kren made eight films based on the aktions of Muehl and Brus. Far from being documentaries these films take the image material of the materialaktions and transform it into the quite distinct, separate aktion of the films itself. The film acts stand beside the materialaktions as co-equal investigations.
Whereas the materialaktions of Muehl and Brus were time- and site-specific, drawing their power and significance from the immediate situations of their enactments, Kren´s responses are formalized in filmic time and distanced in space and time through enactments (film showings).
Kren´s working method would no sooner take the material structure of the film medium for granted than it would the image material. The 3 minute film, 6/64, based on Muehl´s materialaktion Mama und Papa, is constructed of short shots (less than one second, often only a few frames), combined according to a pre-arranged score. The emotionally charged images of nude bodies smeared with various liquids engaged in various perverse acts and contortions are counterpointed by their rapid and regular recurrence within the mathematically precise system of editing. This produces a compelling tension in the resultant film.
(David Levi Strauss, "Notes on Kren: Cutting Through Structural Materialism or, "Sorry. It had to be done." in: Cinematograph I, San Francisco 1985)
In the first action he filmed, 6/64 Mama und Papa, Kren’s editing leads to many interlocking continuous shots; central takes recur like a leitmotif, circular motion and networking can be observed throughout the film. Kren painstakingly weaves the fury in front of his camera lens into dense geometrical figures. Shot/countershot sequences alternate, lumping back and forth between single (!) frames, they turn the Actionist turmoil into ornaments, rigid geometrical patterns, the equivalent in time to what Mondrian used to distill on canvas in space.
3 min 57 sec