Videonale.scope #3 (2015)


Found Footage: Retrospectives of Joseph Cornell and Christoph Girardet & Matthias Müller


Special program:
Joseph Cornell and his contemporaries
How we see. Artistic short films from the Academy of Media Arts, Cologne


Presented within the framework of CineCologne (17.-22.11.2015)

Curated by Daniel Kothenschulte


Joint opening of the CineCologne Festival:

Tuesday, 17.11.2015, 7:30 pm, Filmhaus Köln, Maybachstr. 111


Further information:


The third VIDEONALE.scope is dedicated to the genre of “Found Footage” films. The American artist Joseph Cornell (1903-1972) became known for wooden boxes with a glass front, in which he juxtaposed found and made objects in such a way that they merged with one another and seemed to be permanently removed from the outside world. Only later did his film works receive the same attention, even though their concept is founded on a similar constructional method: In the totally subjective montage of film fragments, they generate new relationships of meaning or put their finger on hidden subtexts of the original works. Nowadays found-footage film, which Joseph Cornell made into an art form, is an independent genre of avant-garde film. VIDEONALE.scope presents the first comprehensive retrospective of his films to be shown in Germany, including Cornell’s best known work “Rose Hobart” from 1936. The retrospective will be supplemented by a program of Cornell’s contemporaries and associates. He worked closely with many of them when creating his works, for example, Stan Brakhage, Larry Jordan, Brian Frye and others.


In Germany Found Footage is particularly associated with two names: Christoph Girardet & Matthias Müller. For 16 years the two film artists have, in their common works, immersed themselves in the history of film and have themselves written film history. In their work they reveal the hidden rituals of classical film narrative and scrutinise the glamorous surface, at the same time celebrating it. Besides this, in their respective solo works they have significantly contributed to the establishing of found footage films as one of the most important dialects in contemporary film and video art, and elevated it artistically to a great height.


In four comprehensive programmes we offer a look both at the solo works of both artists and at the numerous common productions which they have created since the end of the 90s. We also show their award-winning work “Contre-jour” (2009) and their emblematic works “Locomotive” (2008) and “Cut” (2013). The film makers will be present and will provide an introduction to the programmes.


To celebrate the 25th jubilee of the Academy of Media Arts, Cologne, under the title “How we see”, we also present two programmes of short films made by students from recent years.


In the framework of VIDEONALE.scope Videonale, together with StrzeleckiBooks and Daniel Kothenschulte, publishes two publications on Joseph Cornell and Christoph Girardet & Matthias Müller in the series „Avantgarde, Experiment & Underground“.  


Programme VIDEONALE.scope:


Tue 17.11.2015

7.30 pm Opening CineCologne
Filmhaus Cologne, Maybachstr. 111


Wed 18.11.2015

7-9 pm Christoph Girardet & Matthias Müller I

Filmclub 813


Videostill: Matthias Müller, Vacancy, 1998


Vacancy, Matthias Müller, 16mm, 1998, 14'
Enlighten, Christoph Girardet, 2000, 5'
Beacon, Christoph Girardet & Matthias Müller, 2002, 15'
Phoenix Tapes, Christoph Girardet & Matthias Müller, 1999, 47’


Four modern classics of the art film: In the multiple award-winning Vacancy, old amateur films from modernist city Brasilia are the ticket to a melancholy journey.  Enlighten is searching for the sublime in artificial thunderstorms from old Hollywood classics. Beacon, on the other hand, leads us to another of the cinema’s best loved places when it merges shots of coasts and beaches from ten venues with one another. And the evening filler Phoenix Tapes tells us, without comment, everything about Hitchcock – a montage of his obsessions, a stroll through his whole Oeuvre and without question one of the most intelligent films on cinema.

The film makers will be present.


9:30-11 pm How we see. Artistic short films of the Academy of Media Arts Cologne I

Filmpalette Köln


Videostill : Sonja Engelhardt, Crying about the Passing of Time, 2005


Katharina Pethke, Anophtalmus, 2005, 7'

Henning Frederik Malz, Rest In Me, 2014, 6'

Sonja Engelhardt, Crying about the Passing of Time, 2005, 1'
Julia Weissenberg, Schneesturm, 2012, 12'
Lukas Marxt, Reign of Silence, 2013, 7'
Johanna Reich, Black Hole, 2009, 6'
Daniel Burkhardt, grundlos, 2005, 3'
Benjamin Ramírez Pérez, During The Day My Vision Is Perfect, 2013, 10'
Stefan Ramírez Pérez, Stick It, 2014, 5'
Eli Cortiñas, Dial M for Mother, 2008, 11'
Miriam Gossing & Lina Sieckmann, Desert Miracles, 2015, 10'


In addition to the retrospectives of Christoph Girardet & Matthias Müller, VIDEONALE.scope is also celebrating the 25th jubilee of the Academy of Media Arts, Cologne (KHM Köln) with two programmes of short films by students of the academy.

Highlights of the programme: In Dial M for Mother Eli Cortinãs presents a mother-daughter conflict, a stormy battle about identity and autonomy. The roles are taken by her own mother and Hollywood actress Gena Rowlands. Stefan Ramirez Pérez imitates the movement patterns of female gymnasts at the 1996 Olympics and, in Stick it, expands the moments of total concentration immediately before the competition – in the face of potential failure. In Julia Weissenberg’s Schneesturm we observe a memory artist who, with the help of a complex binary code, causes a work of art to appear, while in Black Hole, Johanna Reich apparently disappears into a black hole in the white of a snow covered area. With processed fragments from Michelangelo Antonioni’s L’avventura, Benjamin Ramírez Pérez composes a dreamlike reference to the original, and in Reign of Silence Lukas Marxt finds the evanescent answer to Robert Smithson’s Spiral Jetty in Utah’s Great Salt Lake.


Thur 19.11.2015

7-8.45 pm Christoph Girardet & Matthias Müller II

Filmclub 813 Köln


Videostill: Christoph Girardet & Matthias Müller, Cut, 2013


Play, Christoph Girardet & Matthias Müller, 2003, 7'20''

Mirror, Christoph Girardet & Matthias Müller, 2003, 8'
Maybe Siam, Christoph Girardet & Matthias Müller, 2009, 12'20
Locomotive, Christoph Girardet & Matthias Müller, 2008, 21'
Meteor, Christoph Girardet & Matthias Müller, 2011, 15'
Cut, Christoph Girardet & Matthias Müller, 2013, 13'


For Hollywood only the audience counts, and in Play that’s all you see. You read the film from the faces. Mirror, in contrast, stages deserted settings and glances without an object – a reverence to Antonioni. The cinema celebrates vision, so it frequently tells us about the blind: With its cuts from film scenes, Maybe Siam touches the borders of a cinema which otherwise uses glances to tell the story. The subject of Locomotive is a motif from the early history of the cinema, one which deserves its own film history, the railway. Meteor, on the other hand, describes the road from the nursery to the cosmos, a hypnotic masterpiece and a reverence to the transcendental in science fiction. Cut is also a celebration of film editing, but the cuts the knife makes are visible on the screen: a road cutting between Buñuel and Cronenberg.


The film makers will be present.


9-10.30 pm Christoph Girardet & Matthias Müller III

Filmclub 813 Köln


Videostill: Christoph Girardet, Pianoforte, 2007


Release, Christoph Girardet, 1996, 9'30

Scratch, Christoph Girardet, 2001, 4'50
Manual, Christoph Girardet & Matthias Müller, 2002, 9'30''
Absence, Christoph Girardet, 2002, 8'20"
Storyboard, Christoph Girardet, 2007, 5'30
Fabric, Christoph Girardet, 2014, 9'30"
Kristall, Christoph Girardet & Matthias Müller, 2006, 14'30''
Pianoforte, Christoph Girardet, 2007, 6’
Silberwald, Christoph Girardet, 2010, 12'


When will King Kong release the white woman from his grasp? The organisation of time is everything in the cinema, it is the screw that can be used to make large adjustments to the material, as in Release: and suspense are allegedly one and the same in cinema. Sound has the leading role in Scratch and Pianoforte, the first is a festival for turntable fetishists, the latter a furious montage of 88 scenes in which the piano is played. In addition: Silberwald, Girardets poaching trip through the perpetual rustling winds of old ‘heimat’ films. A highlight of the program is Kristall, a modern classic in which mirror scenes are reflected.


The film makers will be present.


Fri 20.11.2015
7-8.45 pm Joseph Cornell I

Filmclub 813 Köln


Videostill: Joseph Cornell, Rose Hobart, 1936


Rose Hobart, 1936, 19’
Carrousell (1940er) 6’
Thimble Theatre (1940er), 6’
The Children’s Trilogy:
Cotillion, 1940, 8’
The Midnight Party, 1940, 3’
The Children's Party, 1940, 8’
Jack’s Dream (1940er) 4’
Untitled (Bookstalls), ca. 1930er, 11’


Joseph Cornell collected copies of old films in order to entertain his handicapped brother. But the films soon became boring and so he started cutting them together into new films. In many of the films in this programme one sees that their Dadaistic montage was intended to be great fun. But is the fun a game with one’s own dreams. In his masterpiece Rose Hobart, Cornell was certainly dealing with his own longings. He cut all the action scenes out of the B movie East of Borneo in order to highlight his favourite star, Rose Hobart, as effectively as possible. And in the game of glances he discovered a mysterious eroticism. The premier in a New York gallery resulted in a scandal: A member of the audience created a ruckus because Cornell had stolen his dreams. It was Salvador Dalí.

9.30-10.45 pm Christoph Girardet & Matthias Müller IV

Filmpalette Köln


Videostill: Matthias Müller, Home Stories, 1990


Home Stories, Matthias Müller, 1990, 6'

Alpsee, Matthias Müller,1994, 15'
Pensão Globo, Matthias Müller,1997, 15'
Album, Matthias Müller, 2004, 24'
Phantom, Matthias Müller, 2001, 5’
Hide, Christoph Girardet & Matthias Müller, 2006, 7'40
Contre-jour, Christoph Girardet & Matthias Müller, 2009, 10'40'' 


Matthias Müller’s films always handle the permanence and at the same time, the transience of the cinema. They exaggerate the unreality and clinical perfection of the films from the Hollywood studios of the 1950s, whose decors and colours they quote (Home Stories, 1990; Pensão Globo, 1997) or even reproduce in detail (Alpsee, 1994). But at the same time they reveal the decay of these attributes, the “production values”, in the jargon of the studios – a decay which, on closer inspection, reveals itself as a creative act: For Müller, as his own lab technician, is responsible not only for the degradation but also initially the one who develops the material. In this way Müller, in all his works on film, uses the mortality of the film image to make us aware of its living quality. In his wonderful Contre-jour, the eye’s retina is itself this vulnerable (film)material.


The film maker will be present.


11 pm-0.15am How we see. Artistic short films of the Academy of Media Arts Cologne II

Filmpalette Köln


Videostill: Mischa Leinkauf & Matthias Wermke, Zwischenzeit, 2008


Tama Tobias Macht, Haltestelle Hansaring, 2008, 6'

Kate Dervishi, Labor Day in Metropolitan Detroit, 2014, 17‘
Jana Debus, Gregor Alexis, 2009, 21'
Maribel Chavez, Preparación, 2011, 2’
Sonja Engelhardt, 2004, 2004, 2'
Lena Ditte Nissen, Korona, 2013, 10'
Mischa Leinkauf & Matthias Wermke, Zwischenzeit, 2008,9‘


Highlights of the programme: With Gregor Alexis, Jana Debus creates a subtle portrait of her schizophrenic brother, while Lena Ditte Nissen, in Korona, relates a young woman’s journey into her innermost self with mystical, minimalist black and white images, The focus changes from individual persons to urban life: In Labor Day in Metropolitan Detroit, Kate Dervishi throws a melancholy-ironic glance at her deserted home city. In an urban intervention as simple as it is audacious, Mischa Leinkauf and Matthias Wermke, who hit the headlines last year when they swapped the flags on the Brooklyn Bridge, transform public transport into personal transport in Zwischenzeit.


Sat 21.11.2015
7 -8.45 pm Joseph Cornell II

Filmclub 813 Köln


Guest: Jonas Mekas


Videostill: Joseph Cornell, Nymphlight, 1957


By Night with Torch and Spear, ca. 1940er, 8’
New York-Rome-Barcelona-Brussels, ca. 1940er, 10’
The Aviary, 1954, 11’
Nymphlight, 1957, 7’
A Legend for Fountains, 1957/1965, 17’
Angel, 1957, 3‘
Gnir Rednow, Stan Brakhage and Joseph Cornell, 1955 ‒ 1960er, 6‘
Mulberry Street, 1957/1965, 9’
Flushing Meadows, 1965/1978, 8’


As a collector of films, Joseph Cornell discovered that which he also assembled in his collages and boxes: A secret, mysterious beauty. By Night with Torch and Spear discovers majestic beauty in the pictures of a steel works, overturned so that they are standing on their head. Tinted and played back at slightly reduced speed, the images awaken a silent pathos. One feels oneself shifted into a heavenly inferno. In later years Cornell himself took the camera onto the streets. Now the passers by of New York were his found objects whom he followed, just as Alice followed her rabbit into Wonderland.


9-11.30 pm Joseph Cornell and his contemporaries

Filmclub 813 Köln


Videostill: The Secret Story, Janie Geiser, 1996


Cornell, 1965, Larry Jordan, 1978, 9’

Centuries of June, Stan Brakhage and Joseph Cornell, 1955, 11’
The Wonder Ring, Stan Brakhage, 1955, 4’
The Secret Story, Janie Geiser, 1996, 9’
What Mozart Saw on Mulberry Street, Rudy Burckhardt, 1956, 6’
Flower, the Boy, the Librarian, Stephanie Barber, 1996, 5’
Our Lady of the Sphere, Larry Jordan, 1972, 10’
What Makes Day and Night, Jeanne Liotta, 1998, 9’
Her Fragrant Emulsion, Lewis Klahr, 1987, 11‘
Oona's Veil, Brian Frye, 2000, 8’
Fresh Cornell, Daniel Kothenschulte, 2015, 14‘


Cornell and his contemporaries: Joseph Cornell’s art stems itself against forgetting. Just as he conserved in his objects scenes which appealed to the subconscious, with his films he scratched at the surface of an iceberg hiding a treasure-trove of images. When he sauntered through New York, he wondered at the surreal arrangements in the shop windows. In What Mozart Saw on Mulberry Street he portrays the street through the eyes of a Mozart bust standing in a shop window. When New York’s administration decided to pull down Third Avenue’s overhead railway, he gave Stan Brakhage the commission for a filmic document. This resulted in The Wonder Ring, a key work of the avant-garde. With the camera, Brakhage discovered a new, unformed way of looking. Among the younger artists influenced in equal parts by Cornell and Brakhage is Brian Frye, who, in Oona’s Veil, uses disintegrating film material in beguiling fashion. Fresh Cornell is an experiment: Can the montage concept of Rose Hobart be applied to a jungle film starring Angelina Jolie by excising all the action? 


Special programme in the context of the CineCologne focus „Aufbruch (Departure)“:


Thur 19.11.2015
7.30pm Aufbruch (Departure) @ VIDEONALE.scope: Video programme
Cinema at Alte Feuerwache, Melchiorstr. 3, Cologne


Antti Tanttu, Solitude, 2004, 4:00 Min

Mahdi Fleifel, Xenos, 2013, 12:00 Min
Ulu Braun, Die Flutung von Viktoria, 2004, 25:00 Min
Henrik Lund Jorgensen, Friends He Lost at Sea, 2009, 5:36 Min
Judith Raum, Unlike the Worm in the Apple (Stan Brackhage revisited), 2005, 10:40 Min
Gonzalo Rodriguez, Rebeca, 2009, 24:00 Min
Kai Zimmer, 3 Minutes in America, 1996, 3:00 Min
Zhenchen Liu, Under Construction, 2007, 09:55 Min


In Solitude, a person is standing on a cliff, facing into the wind, and using signal flags to spell out the message “Solitude is luxury when it is voluntary”. This describes the state somewhere between heteronomy and autonomy which is determining for all the works in this programme.


Without mincing words, Xenos depicts the hopeless tale of Palestinian refugees in Athens, while the cartoon Die Flutung von Viktoria (The Flooding of Viktoria) follows a group of travellers laconically through the decline of the old world and the rise of a new, different one. In Friends He Lost at Sea, the viewer follows the thoughts of the protagonist, who conjures up scenes from historical paintings and comes alarmingly close to current reality. Following Stan Brakhage, Unlike the Worm in the Apple reinterprets being imprisoned in the bosom of mother nature while in Rebeca, the film maker seeks filmic ways and means of understanding his grandmother, who saw suicide as the only way out. At the end of the programme, 3 Minutes in America carries along the viewer in the wake of fateful car rides in Hollywood classics, while Under Construction impressively captures on the screen the conflict over the displacement of Chinese citizens from their hereditary homes.


More information:




Filmclub 813 e.V.
Kino 813 in der BRÜCKE
Hahnenstraße 6
50667 Cologne
Subway 1/3/4/7/9/16/18: Neumarkt


Filmpalette Köln
Lübecker Str. 15

50668 Cologne
Subway 12/15/16/18: Ebertplatz or
Subway 12/15: Hansaring


Entrance fees

7 Euro / 5 Euro (reduced)


Combined ticket (2 Scope-programmes) = 12 Euro
Combined ticket (2 Scope-programmes) reduced = 10 Euro


CineCologne-festival pass (valid for all CineCologne-festivals) = 30 Euro / 25 Euro (reduced)
Accreditation for press and professionals: 15 Euro (please accredit yourself at






VIDEONALE.scope is funded by:




CineCologne is funded by:




In cooperation with: 





Videonale e.V. is funded by: