Collapsing Mies

The German American architect Mies van der Rohe numbers among the most important representatives of classical modernism. His bold structures of glass and steel such as The New Gallery in Berlin have permanently changed the world of architecture.  
Artist Claudia Larcher animates photographs of works by the influential architect in her Collapsing Mies. Vertical grid and frame structures in front of a black ground slowly but steadily slide into view. The palette of colors and forms is extremely reduced, visual accents provided by grey, blue and brown marble. The images steadily turn on a central vertical axis as they perpetually grow in number. A minimalistic electronic soundtrack by Alexander J. Eberhard increasingly telescopes in perfect synchronicity with the images. In a paradoxical play of forms the architectural photos are superimposed multiple times. While this makes it impossible to distinguish concrete buildings and objects, the formal language of van der Rohe's constructivist minimalism is clearly on display. Larcher uses shots of facades as well as interiors, collapsing distinctions between inside and outside.
The boundary between two- and three-dimensional space is also broken down. Two dimensional photographs of three-dimensional objects are virtually re-translated in an artificial 3-D space, as well as being layered in and atop one another.  In this way, the artist renders a complex, multi-perspectival spatial structure while at the same time creating a minimalist abstract motion.
Mies van der Rohe's modernist dream of efficiency, transparency, and elegance is made manifest in this acutely compressed computer animation. His rationalistic aesthetic is wonderfully elucidated by way of Larcher's distillation and abstraction. With this highly aesthetic reflection upon architectural history, Larcher generates an experimental artwork of particular beauty resting on constructive logic and formal rigor. (Norbert Pfaffenbichler)

Translation: Eve Heller

Orig. Title
Collapsing Mies
7 min
Claudia Larcher
Orig. Language
No Dialogue
Claudia Larcher
Concept & Realization
Claudia Larcher
Alexander J. Eberhard
Available Formats
Digital File (prores, h264)
DCP 2K flat (Distribution Copy)
Aspect Ratio
Sound Format
Dolby Surround
Color Format
Festivals (Selection)
Graz - Diagonale, Festival des österreichischen Films
Genève - Animatou Festival Int. du film d´animation
Santiago de Compostela - Curtocircuito
Zagreb - 25fps Film & Video Festival
Annecy - Festival Int. du Cinema d'Animation
Wien - VIS Vienna Shorts
Ann Arbor - Film Festival
Wien - Tricky Women / Tricky Realities - Int'l Animation Filmfestival (Hubert Sielecki-Award for an Austrian Animation)
Bolton - International Film Festival
Lissabon - Monstra Festival of Animated Films
Nijmegen - Go Short Film Festival
Regensburg - Kurzfilmwoche
Wien - Two Days Animation Festival
Marseille - RISC Rencontres Int. Sciences et Film