Close Up

27 October 2019: Jürgen Böttcher: Outsiders


Image credit: Potters stier©DEFA-Stiftung/Thomas Plenert

Transformations: Potter's Bull (Potters Stier), Jürgen Böttcher, 1981, 15 min
Transformations: Venus after Giorgione (Venus nach Giorgione), Jürgen Böttcher, 1981, 21 min
Transformations: Woman at the Clavichord (Frau am Klavichord), Jürgen Böttcher, 1981, 17 min
A Visit to Hermann Glöckner (Kurzer Besuch bei Hermann Glöckner), Jürgen Böttcher, 1984, 32 min, German with English subtitles

Total Runtime: ca 85 min

"The second part of programme one begins with Böttcher’s most personal work: the Transformations Trilogy, and the only experimental film ever made under the auspices of DEFA. Tantamount to an almost impossible act of daring, here is Böttcher revealing his parallel existence as a painter; connecting up with the film avant-garde and establishing himself as a role model for a whole generation of film-making-painters in the GDR.

Followed by an intimate, almost meditational portrayal: A Brief Visit with Hermann Glöckner –a painter, sculptor and leading German Constructivist. A unique study of artistic creativity and individual resistance to conformity which Böttcher identified closely with.

Böttcher had studied at the Dresden Academy of Fine Arts from 1949-1953, but because of ideological differences he was blacklisted and thrown out of the Association for Visual Arts in the autumn of 1961, subsequently making it impossible for his paintings to be exhibited and with no cessation of rejection, humiliation and censorship until the late 1970’s, when state censorship gradually began to thaw against a back-drop of détente. The originality and importance of his work became openly recognized and impossible to ignore. Only then were Böttcher’s paintings allowed to re-surface and be publicly exhibited." – Diana Mavroleon

Part of the Goethe-Institut's season on Jürgen Böttcher, presented in collaboration with Close-Up and King's College London. 

Programme notes written by Diana Mavroleon, London 2019. Programme notes references: Claus Loser.

Diana Mavroleon works with experimental and documentary film; a programme maker for Resonance Radio, a founder member of European Media Arts Network and a correspondent for S.E. Asia. She is currently researching a documentary feature on: "The impact of globalization on the hereditary musicians of the Thar Desert in Western Rajasthan". Diana is also a qualified bio-dynamic gardener and landscape/garden designer.