Siegfried A. Fruhauf
Born:1976 in not specified
Foto: Siegfried Wöber
Born in Grieskirchen (Upper Austria) in 1976 and grown up in the small village of Heiligenberg (Upper Austria). 1991 – 1994 Training as commercial manager.
Studied experimental visual design at the University of Artistic and Industrial Design in Linz where he first came into contact with the Austrian Film Avantgarde. From 1995 to 2010 he lived and worked in Linz and Heiligenberg. 2002 Supporting Award for Filmart by the Austrian Federal Chancellery.
Since 2001 organization of film and art events. Since 2009 lecturere at the University of Artistic and Industrial Design, Linz. Numerous works and shows in the area of film, video and fotography. Participation in various important international film festivals (Festival de Cannes – Semaine Internationale de la Critique, Intenational Filmfestival of Venice – Section Nuovi Territori, Sundance Film Festival Park City, …). Member of sixpackfilm.
Has a son (Jonas Theodor) with the Austrian journalist Anna Katharina Laggner. Lives and works in Vienna and Heiligenberg since 2010.
The films included in this DVD (not identical to Index’s title, Siegfried A. Fruhauf – Exposed) are as follows:
01 – LA SORTIE 1998, 6 min
02 – MOUNTAIN TRIP 1999, 4 min
03 – BLOW-UP 2000, 2 min
04 – EXPOSED 2001, 9 min
05 – REALTIME 2002, 4 min
06 – STRUCTURAL FILMWASTE. DISSOLUTION 1 2003, 4 min
07 – STRUCTURAL FILMWASTE. DISSOLUTION 2 2003, 3:30 min.
08 – FRONTALE 2002, 1 min.
09 – PHANTOM RIDE 2004, 1 min.
The first film of cinematographic history shows workers leaving a factory. The title of this work which is 50 seconds long and bequeathed to us by the Lumière brothers is La Sortie des Ouvriers de l´Usine.
There are three known versions of the work. In the hardware and software of the cinematographic “machine” resides much of the specifically mechanical charm of the industrial age. In one sense it is a paradox that the Lumières began film history with workers leaving the factory instead of giving place of honour to them working on the production lines. Over a hundred years later Siegfried A. Fruhauf has made a fourth version of La Sortie des Ouvriers de l´Usine. This remake gives short shrift to the unconscious irony of the Lumière films. Fruhauf needs six minutes to run through the current fate of industry. Fourteen workers are present here – five on the (optically) vertical axis, the rest cross the horizontal axis in the background. Their movements form a cross – a symbol of death as a ballet méchanique.The initial image is transformed into almost abstract black and white surfaces, harnessed, Sisyphus-like, to a lunatic dance of repetition. Fruhauf increases the acceleration of the striding workers in discrete steps until they are tearing along – the capacity of the film tested to its outer limits – until it can´t take any more. Maximum acceleration leads to stasis – after the acceleration throughout the film comes the logical consequence – the last frame – the freeze frame. Nothing more can happen. The model (literally) of progress collapses. And instead there is paralysis. A dead end. The workers are motionless, and with them the factory. Rien ne va plus.
Translated literally “exposed” means “to make something visible” or “uncovered”. In photography it means to subject photographic film to light. Exposed uses short scene from a feature film – a man observes a dancing woman through a keyhole – is used as the raw material. Solely fragments of this tableau are visible to the viewer, and Fruhauf “re-exposes” the scene by passing the perforations of a strip of film in front of the projector so that they resemble a moving sieve.
While the moving stencil allows us to see no more than portions of the scene, the narration’s “peeping tom” motif is repeated in our own perception. Sight can no longer be taken for granted and therefore increases in fascination. Fruhauf also breaks up the intended movement of the found footage on the temporal level. The apparent irregularity of the fields of light scanning over the strip of film is juxtaposed with a metronomically precise rhythm which segments the scene. Successive shots often vary to no more than a minimal degree. Similar to a record album with a crack, the progression shifts in minute but regular ways. The new film movement is therefore a palimpsest consisting of several layers: A particular scene is segmented and reassembled in a new way, and the space inside the frame is broken down into a moving prism.Together with the soundtrack (rising and falling white noise, drips and whispers), Fruhauf’s study on seeing and being seen, light and movement – in other words, cinema – has a nearly hypnotic effect.
Structural Filmwaste. Dissolution 1
At first Structural Filmwaste seems to be a reaction to the esthetics and methods of past Austrian avant-garde films: Leftover footage (Ernst Schmidt Jr.) was put together according to rigid plans (Kurt Kren) and shown in a split screen, one panel delayed slightly. While it follows an almost musical structure, the footage with recognizable images later disappears in a rhythmic sequence of the basic visual elements of black and white frames (Peter Kubelka).Fruhauf, whose earlier works were also made as a kind of “handicraft”, succeeded in embedding a paradigm switch in his homage to film art. Waste material from the darkroom was stacked and exposed in such a way that the edges of the frame, the splices, scratches, frame lines and sprocket holes, are now visible. The fact that “images” are involved is indicated by the superimposed label “Bild” (Image) which appears for fractions of a second. Fruhauf began by following a classic film avant-gardism which focuses on the apparatus involved and the film material.The footage gradually undergoes a transition to a whiteness which is obviously digital in nature. What were scratches in the film strip´s emulsion now resemble the dark lines in a grainy video image. The analog film image is replaced by the electronic video image, and the haptic quality of the material makes way for the purely optic nature of a two-dimensional white field generated by a computer. Not only the image but the medium, the material itself proves to be illusory, the original cinematographic apparatus has long since disappeared. (Gerald Weber)