Whatever Happened to Gelitin

Artist Liam Gillick hasn´t seen them. Director John Waters has no idea where they are. Filmmaker Tony Conrad has his theories, but he´s not saying. But whoever you ask, the fact remains, the four members of the Austrian artist group, Gelitin (Wolfgang Gantner, Ali Janka, Florian Reither, and Tobias Urban) have disappeared! So Salvatore Viviano, artist, art dealer, and occasional collaborator in Gelitin performances, sets off on a cinematic search for the funniest boy group in the world. With an imposing microphone in hand, he questions artists, gallerists and curators about the group´s possible whereabouts. His imaginary quest provides the narrative framework for Angela Christlieb´s tour de force film, which both portrays, and itself, mirrors, the energy of Gelitin´s anarchic operations. The quartet rose to fame with border-crossing and visually powerful performances, sculptures, installations, and photos. They roll gleefully in the mud, incite audiences to acts of art destruction, attach stuffed animals to their testicles for a "fashion shoot"; dance naked with spinning tassels attached to their buns, or discuss which of the four´s excrement created which letters in the "Kackabet"—letters made from feces. At one point, art dealer Christian Meyer analyzes, "Our world is always trying to rationalize things, an approach that Gelitin deliberately refuses." Christlieb constructs her film out of a wealth of archival material, rhythmically assembled, and interwoven with stories and observations from various interviews. Art dealer Leo Koenig says that Gelitin’s art just makes him want to strip of his clothes, while artist Tom Sachs admits, “I wish my life were 10 percent more Gelitin!” A yearning that will certainly be shared by many after watching this film. (Nina Schedlmayer)

Orig. Title
Whatever Happened to Gelitin
Year
2016
Country
Austria
Duration
82 min
Category
Documentary
Orig. Language
english, german, french, italian
Subtitles
english
Credits
Director
Angela Christlieb
Music
XTMPLX, Japanther, Philipp Quehenberger, Maehl Schuyler, Psychic TV, Tankris, Blueblut, Trafo
Editing
Angela Christlieb
Sound Design
Chris Janka
Production
Angela Christlieb
Participant
Agnes Husslein-Arco, Tom Sachs, Liam Gillick, Christian Meyer, Salvatore Viviano, John Waters
Supported by
Wien Kultur, Land Niederösterreich
Available Formats
DCP 2K flat
Aspect Ratio
16:9
Sound Format
stereo
Frame Rate
25 fps
Color Format
colour, b/w
Digital File (prores, h264) (Distribution Copy)
Aspect Ratio
16:9
Sound Format
stereo
Frame Rate
25 fps
Color Format
colour
Festivals (Selection)
2016
Graz - Diagonale, Festival des österreichischen Films
Hof - Internationale Filmtage
Kassel - Dokumentarfilm- & Videofest
Cork - IndieCork Film Festival
Espoo Cine Festival
2017
Hong Kong - Int. Film Festival
Chicago Underground Film Festival
Taipei - Urban Nomad Festival
Lausanne LUFF Underground Film Festival
2018
Köln - Stranger Than Fiction Dokumentarfilmfestival
Innsbruck - Diametrale Filmfestival