Online catalogue / Anja Salomonowitz :

THIS MOVIE IS A GIFT
DIESER FILM IST EIN GESCHENK
AT / 2019
72 min.

Daniel Spoerri creates art out of found objects, which lose their function as soon as he integrates them into his works. Anja Salomonowitz makes films that are devoted to the visualization of times and conflicts. THIS MOVIE IS A GIFT stands at the crossroad between the two and intertwines their work in a very personal way.

Already the title of the film suggests that it is more about giving than representation: Salomonowitz thanks Spoerri with this portrait. In turn, he gave her one of his assemblages as a gift, which has a porcelain heart that was connected with her deceased father in a privileged place within it. The encounter with the artist in his studio, a museum of discarded things, became the occasion to bind his work with these objects, these "trap pictures," back to his biography. Spoerri, born Feinstein, is the son of a Romanian Jew who was abducted and murdered. For the later founder of nouveau réalisme, Switzerland meant a new start. But the memories of a traumatic past carve their own paths: Salomonowitz also makes Spoerri´s artistic practice visible as an attempt to confront the lost part of his family history.

At the same time, the film looks ahead and extends its memory into the future by staging Salomonowitz´s son Oskar as a stand-in and opposite of Spoerri. He repeats some of the artist´s trains of thought and adds new semantic vibes simply through his different linguistic nuances. The artist no longer speaks about himself, his life and his activity reverberate in the mind of another. Nothing is lost, it merely reassembles again and again in surprising ways. (Dominik Kamalzadeh)

Translation: Lisa Rosenblatt


Daniel Spoerri arranges things into one of his assemblages as if he were contributing something to the order of life. Oskar Salomonowitz, the filmmaker´s son, vividly brings the artist´s thoughts closer to us, as if they were his own. The spoons of the late father of Anja Salomonowitz are added to the cycle of life. People die, things remain. By also updating Daniel Spoerri´s past through the child, the film courageously undertakes a new documentary path of cinematic, biographical representation. Spoerri´s father, Isaac Feinstein, was murdered in the Holocaust and Spoerri´s life was shaped by this disappearance. In his work, he says, the things found at the flea market, which he collects and nails to the wall as compositions, no longer disappear. He has captured life for a moment. (production note)

A film by:
- Anja Salomonowitz

category:
- Documentary

original language:
- german

Available Prints:
- DCP 2K

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more on Austrian Independent Film & Video Database:
- Credits
- Festival placements
- Texte und Bilder
- Biographie: Anja Salomonowitz