Weiner Chapter 8

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S.R. I wanted to ask you something about your films. If I see it right, you continuously worked with film since the end of the 60s ...

L.W. Lets do it all by [...] whatever the dates are on the films, whenever the first films [...] were, is the first time. I knew a little bit about it, I had been involved with people making films, I'd watched. But I didn't feel the need until I started to make the small videos and then I began to make films, yes. The first film was made around 72, 73 [...]

S.R. What was your idea to work with film? Was it a totally different approach like your work on the wall, like your installations or was it the same approach just in a different medium [...] ?

L.W. (0:27:07:00) It was an attempt to control the mise-en-scène. And films, in my hand at least, function not as a theatrical device but more as a Bühne – and there is a difference between stage and Bühne. [...] I was able then to place the work within contexts that I chose to have. It was closer to your idea of a so-called conceptual paradise, [...] where I was able to place the work and put it in a context that I was in control of. In film it's not an authoritarian role, you are asking somebody to do something once or twice, and there is a director, there's a player and there's a director of photography ... I found film was ?... I also had a great interest in film. I have film-makers that I think have tried to deal with the conversation with the world, as Godard and Faßbinder. They brought film into the conversation that art was in; the moral values and the structure of things.

S.R. So it's always a question how you deal with the combination in film - for me, especially, there's the question, how you deal with the combination or the interaction between language and image. But if you think of it in a second step, the image is always also language. //L.W. Exactly.//S.R. And maybe you can say something about this specific role of the visuality of your work and the language you are working with since 30 years.

L. W. ... A little longer I think. It's also the language of art is material, and weather you use photo or a drawing, a material itself or a word, you are still using a representation of a generalized material. (..) I approach film in some cinematic terms but not in a historical not in ? sense; cinematic in that there is a responsibility that you are asking people for their real time, and some of the films I made are extremely aggressive about their real time, and some of the films are extremely graceful about their real time. Zürich ...[...] (??) Within the context of cinema there are certain things that develop, that become possible. It's a non-allusive thing, you are presenting a reality if you ??films and things ... there are very few tricks, it's the reality itself. I like it. Also for an artist, like myself, I'm a studio artist, is that I spend a lot of time working these things in the studio with materials, language and material [...] ... using the language as material etc., it's nice to come out of your ivory tower, and there is no way to get people to work with you on a production, especially if you are not rolling in large amounts of money, without having to convince them. The reality of why they should spend their time ... their skill, you're asking people skill. I find the collaboration-part of it – bringing together a movie, bringing together a performance ... – highly enlightening to me; I have to put my things, any ideas I've had, out and try to convince somebody to aid me, because you can't make a movie yourself.

S.R. Let me ask you again about [...] the difference between your very concentrated – I suppose concentrated- work on the table ... in your studio

L.W. .. or on the floor or in the garden...

S.R. ... in relation to processes of collaborative works, for example you worked together with Ed Ruscha...

L.W. ... we made a nice book, it was called »hard light«. I think we did a quite good job. I worked with Baldessari ... with lots of artists.

S.R. So how do you see the difference in the collaboration process? Is it [...] comparable or is it totally different for you?

L.W. Let me give an analogy which might explain my thinking about it. Remember all of the people that I've been able to have the privilege I guess to work with, are formed people; I'm a formed person. That does not mean that you're ??... it just means that you're formed.... I was always impressed that you would find as I was growing up a tape say of Coultrane and Thelonius Monk. Now the two people were not in accordance people ... they both were totally different people, and they got together and they did a session and it was taped ... it was not a marriage, it was a special occasion, and the two of them took how they were at that point, and they put it together. And somebody has something outside of just the one person; they have them interacting with other people of the same level, same mentality. That's the way I see these collaborations, but I don't see them as a marriage [...] – it's not really a collaboration. It's two people or three people coming together and making something based upon all the works they have been doing all their lives. If that sounds romantic, I'm sorry. //S.R. No, it's perfect ... // L.W. It's totally aspirational on my part.

S.R. I think that you can have a perspective on collaboration work that it's a different political instance, but it mustn't be that; it could be something like a band playing together [...]

L.W. At that moment you have found something that brings you accord with another human being.

S.R. I see...

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