Lutz Mommartz. Der durchsichtige Mensch
You can see a person in a bird's eye view. This person stretches his hands towards the camera lens and has an open mouth.
[The Transparent Person]
Sat, February 11, 2023 – Mon, April 10, 2023

The ZKM presents three installations by avant-garde filmmaker Lutz Mommartz.

When asked about his relationship with the cinema, German experimental filmmaker and film director Lutz Mommartz, born in 1934, replied: "I rarely go, I don't like Westerns, problem films or comedies. For example, I filmed a tablecloth in the wind. Long and full-frame. For brief moments, a wonderful landscape could be seen behind it. In color. [...]" "The shot ended abruptly when the camera's drive gave out, apparently without any useful result. After many attempts to get it right, I found that the picture for my shot did not improve. A few years later, it became clear to me that I should follow my first immediate impulse to devote the moving image to chance." 

Self-taught in the film scene and working as an administrator, Mommartz submitted his films to the prestigious experimental film festival in Knokke-le-Zoute, Belgium, in 1967, and was surprised by their unexpected success there, which made him famous overnight in the German experimental film scene and also in the arti scene of his home town of Düsseldorf. From the beginning of his involvement with experimental film, Mommartz, endeavored to renew it. In doing so, he focused on aesthetic and social relevance and the authentic as art.

His views on the nature of cinema have little in common with conventional notions of mainstream cinema. He rejects fiction in motion pictures as well as the didacticism of documentaries. Since the 1960s, his filmmaking has been driven by an interest in the media framing of vision, the conditions of film screening, and the analysis of cinematographic practices. Based on these artistic interests, he joined the circle of filmmakers committed to "the other cinema" and alternative distribution systems. 

In Düsseldorf, Mommartz participated, among other things, in the conception and design of the famous artist venue Creamcheese, took part in Documenta 4 as well as in numerous film festivals and exhibitions, and initiated the “Filmgruppe Düsseldorf”, which advocated the recognition of the medium of film in the visual arts. 1975–1999 he was professor of film at the film class he founded at the Kunstakademie Münster.  

The ZKM is presenting three film installations by Lutz Mommartz, which stand for different phases of his unusual and multifaceted oeuvre: »Der Zeitschneider« [The Time Cutter], »Das wehende Tuch« [The Fluttering Cloth], and the video »Der durchsichtige Mensch« [The Transparent Person].

Curatorial team

Till Nachtmann, Stefan Silies