Cave Painting

In Siegfried Fruhauf’s dream-like etude, human traces from an unimaginably distant past appear as an intensified vision of the origin of painting. Cave Painting leads us to real natural phenomena that have been shaped by civilization. A seemingly spherical thunderstorm of individual images leads us to a rock face whose interior opens pulsatingly. The dizzying expedition along rock structures and cavities is increasingly determined by colors, contrasting lighting, three-dimensional effects, and illusions of movement. Fruhauf celebrates the movie screen in a loose way, following the example of Robert Smithson – namely, as a place of flickering apparitions whose blurred, floating perception is due to a specific environment. He understands the cinema experience as cave exploration. 
In a virtuoso condensation of photochemical shots, the filmmaker abstracts from images of what has been found or already reproduced, which he deforms into an imaginary exploration of a stalactite grotto. In the cave’s virtually organic-looking interior, hand negatives emerge, the oldest evidence of art. In turn, black imprints tremble as a manual signature of the present. Light painting and drawings scratched onto film are the artist’s physical engagement in a dance with prehistoric representations. In a pyrotechnic display of digital animation, fantastic contours appear deepened, solarized, rotating, superimposed on one another. Finally, the famous “Spotted Horses” flash up between the layers of the image as the distant reflection of a Stone Age cave painting. We can sense the luck of archaeology: each material element of a discovery can contain entire worlds and, together with other fragments, awaken hitherto unimagined ideas.
(Christa Blumlinger)

Orig. Title
Cave Painting
14 min 30 sec
Orig. Language
No Dialogue
Siegfried A. Fruhauf
Concept & Realization
Siegfried A. Fruhauf
Supported by
BMKOES, Wien Kultur, Land Oberösterreich
Available Formats
DCP 2K flat (Distribution Copy)
Aspect Ratio
Sound Format
7.1 surround
Frame Rate
25 fps
Color Format
Digital File (prores, h264) (Distribution Copy)
Festivals (Selection)
Rotterdam - Int. Filmfestival
Jeonju - International Film Festival
Linz - Crossing Europe Film Festival (CROSSING EUROPE Award - Local Artist / Honorary Mention)
Hong Kong - Int. Film Festival
Graz - Diagonale, Festival des österreichischen Films
Montréal - Festival International du Film sur l'Art
Aix-en-Provence - Festival Tous Courts
Best Austrian Animation Film Festival (Best Sound / Music)
Cork - Int. Film Festival
Winterthur - Kurzfilmtage
Uppsala - Int. Short Film Festival
Fredrikstad Animation Festival (NO)
A Coruña – Intersección Contemporary Audiovisual Art Festival
Limassol - Cyrus Int. Short Film Festival
Rijeka - Interface Video Art Festival (Jury Special Mention)
Zagreb - 25fps Film & Video Festival
San Francisco Crossroads Film Festival
Linz - Ars Electronica
Paris - L'Etrange Festival
Melbourne - Int. Film Festival
Berlin - FRACTO Experimental Film Encounter
Vila do Conde - Festival Internacional de Curtas-Metragens
Annecy - Festival Int. du Cinema d'Animation
Seattle - Int. Film Festival
Beyoglu/ Istanbul - IFSAK Short Film Festival
Paris - PIAFF Paris International Animation Film Festival
Stuttgart - Filmwinter, Expanded Media Festival
Paris - PIAFF Paris International Animation Film Festival
Bratislava - Febiofest