Homage to La Sarraz

Original title: (Hommage à La Sarraz)
GDR, 1981, 12 min, b&w
In German; English subtitles

In this experimental short, Dammbeck relocates his Leipzig-based artists’ circle  known as the Herbstsalon (Autumn Salon), to La Sarraz Palace in Switzerland. In 1929, La Sarraz was the site of a legendary congress held by leading European avant-garde filmmakers—including Sergei Eisenstein, Béla Balázs, Ivor Montagu, Hans Richter and Walter Ruttmann—who wished to create an independent cinema as a forum for discussing issues such as elitist thinking, the tastes of the masses and the gaps between art and life. Not only avant-garde film history is at stake in Homage to La Sarraz, however; so too are images and sounds from after 1933. Voices and visions of the Nazi past intermingle with the voices and (tele)visions of the (1981) socialist present, suggesting certain analogies. Formally, the director experiments with over-painting and non-camera animation. 


Homage to La Sarraz and Dammbeck’s earlier experimental film, Metamorphoses I mark the filmic beginning of the artist’s long-term project the Herakles-Konzept (Hercules Concept).


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