BECOMING OTTO

By Vincent JUILLERAT

SELENIUM FILMS - as PROD

Documentary - Completed 2010


    • Year of production
    • 2010
    • Genres
    • Documentary
    • Countries
    • FRANCE
    • Languages
    • GERMAN, ENGLISH
    • Director(s)
    • Vincent JUILLERAT
    • Synopsis
    • Based on a long interview with Otto Muehl filmed in Faro (Portugal) in March 2008, this film recounts one of the most controversial and demanding artistic experiments of the 20th century.
      From Viennese Actionism to community experiences, since the beginning of the 60s, Otto Muehl has pursued highly original artistic research leading him to meld art and life. Especially inspired by the work of Wilhelm Reich, Otto Muehl has been a precursor to a number of practices seen in today’s contemporary art scene.
      At the age of 83, for the first time, Otto Muehl reviews his life and work in depth, relating the relevance of his childhood and, to a certain extent, the war, but above all, the choices he made which led him to develop into one of the most interesting artists of the 20th and 21st centuries. Expatriated to Portugal, his work is regularly exhibited in international institutions.
      Using documentation from the artist’s own archives, in addition to media and institutional archives (television, foundations, etc.), this film shows how a radical art of action emerged during the 60s as an expression of the post-World War 2 era, ensconced in generational conflicts and class struggle with the dominance of the middle class. The redefinition of Man reappears through these observations as an imperative.
      Various participants underscore the innovative contribution in Otto Muehl’s art and within the context of the necessary reassessment of artistic practices. In the film, we meet the Spanish art historian, Pilar Parcerisas, the American art historian Philip Ursprung and the American artist, Paul McCarthy.
      Images were also shot during two recent shows this year (2008): “The Hummel Collection: Viennese Actionism” at the Contemporary Art Center of Sevilla and “Otto Muehl/Temple Destroyer” at the Maccarone Gallery in New York.
    • Partners & financing
    • TV, Festivals
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