20/68 Honey

In 1968 Kren made Schatzi, which explores the irony of a formal image device, the interplay of positive and negative superimposition, involving the viewer in the material interaction only to reveal finally that the picture is of an army officer surveying a field of corpses. In many respects, Kren´s work continues to express the tension between the existential and the structural. His formal inclinations and systematic structures never become formalist or formula unrelated to the existential aspect of image.

(Malcolm Le Grice, "Abstract Film and Beyond", 1977)


The freeze frame´s historicalness also contains a political dimension. In Schatzi Kurt Kren films a photo which shows an SS officer standing on a town square which is littered with dead bodies. Positive and negative images are overlapped here as well, showing at the beginning only abstract, blurry areas, which then slowly materialize into a picture. Kren goes through a whole process of cognition on the step-by-step discovery of an unbearable fact, which shows the image as an "inscription of the real." The picture then falls back into its negative and positive forms, and shows that it is definitely "only" a photo, which cannot do justice to the depicted reality. Kren makes the transition from seeing to thinking through the animatinon of the picture.

(Michael Palm: "Which Way? Drei Pfade durchs Bild-Gebüsch von Kurt Kren," in:(ed.) H. Scheugl, Ex Underground Kurt Kren. Seine Filme, Vienna 1996)


Schatzi begins with a blurred light and dark structure – hazy spots and surfaces that appear to blur each other. Slowly, and the film continues one begins to detect a figure, a man in a long, dark coat ...

(Hans Hurch)


Schatzi is the ultimate commentary on the atrocities and torments the soldiers of the Waffen-SS did to human beings, one cannot fictionalize these historical figures and events.

(Brigitta Burger-Utzer)

More Texts

20/68 Schatzi von Matthias Wittmann

»Wie lässt sich den Klischees ein wirkliches Bild entreißen?« (Gilles Deleuze) Welche Bilder können dem Verdämmern von Geschichte entgegengehalten werden? Wie ist das Vergangene (er)fassbar, vor allem wenn es um jenes Ereignis geht, das seine Repräsentation gleichermaßen einfordert wie verweigert: die industrielle Abschlachtung von Millionen? Kurt Kren (1929–1998), dessen innovative Filmexperimente und Welterkundungen einzigartigen Status genießen, beansprucht nicht mehr als zwei Minuten und keine Worte, um derartige Fragen aufzuwerfen. Aus einer Graufläche kristallisieren sich allmählich Schemen und Konturen, die im Moment der Erkennbarkeit sofort wieder in der Unschärfe verschwinden. Auf dem Foto, das kaum eine Sekunde lang enthüllt wird, ist ein SS-Offizier inmitten von Leichenbergen zu sehen. Krens Bilder der Unruhe arbeiten konsequent dem Bedürfnis des Blickes nach Fixierung des Wahrgenommenen entgegen. Erinnerung kann eben keine endgültige Einstellung finden, sie kann nicht aufhören, in immer neuen Anläufen um Fassung zu ringen. (Filmarchiv Austria, Bilder ausser sich)
Orig. Title
20/68 Schatzi
Year
1968
Country
Austria
Duration
2 min 29 sec
Director
Kurt Kren
Category
Avantgarde/Arts
Orig. Language
no dialogue
Downloads
20/68 Honey (Image)
20/68 Schatzi (Image)
20/68 Schatzi (Image)
Credits
Director
Kurt Kren
Available Formats
16 mm (Original Format)
Aspect Ratio
1:1,37
Sound Format
silent
Frame Rate
24 fps
Color Format
b/w
DCP 2K flat (Distribution Copy)
Digital File (prores, h264) (Distribution Copy)
Festivals (Selection)
2000
Austin - Cinetexas - Int. short film&video&new media festival
2001
Brest - Festival du Film Court
2002
Cork - Int. Film Festival
2004
Helsinki - Avanto Media Art Festival