Heinz Emigholz (* January 22, 1948 in Achim, near Bremen, Germany) is a filmmaker, actor, artist, writer and producer. He is a Professor for Experimental film at Berlin University of the Arts (since 1993) and at European Graduate School in Saas-Fee, Switzerland. He worked as an illustrator and a retoucher, and studied philosophy and literary studies in Hamburg. He founded the film company Pym Films in 1978. He has produced a comprehensive filmic and artistic oeuvre and has also done performance art and acted in other directors’ films (Cynthia Beatt, Silke Grossmann, Stefan Hayn, Birgit and Wilhelm Hein, Ken Jacobs, Sheila McLaughlin, Sandra Nettelbeck, Elfi Mikesch, Lior Shamriz, Joseph Vilsmaier, Klaus Wyborny a.o.).
Emigholz’s first films, dating back to the early 1970s and the context of avant-garde and Experimental film, display "a complex interaction between abstract temporal compositions – or filmic movements, respectively – and selected urban and natural landscapes" (Emigholz) In Demon (1976/77), he began to examine words. The film explores the prose poem "Le Démon de l’Analogie" (The Demon of Analogy) by Stéphane Mallarmé. "Just as previous films were cut so that fixed features of the landscape and their connections met with a score, in this film, there is one shot for each word." (Frieda Grafe) Emigholz included narrative and scenic elements in Normalsatz / Ordinary Sentence (1978–81) and his subsequent films. His visual composition and framing, which establishes a phenomenological relationship to space, is striking, as it ignores the conventional perpendicularity and the central perspective. "The visual space is always populated in the films rather than being empty space whose coordinates are fixed to categories borrowed from abstract geometry, such as the horizon and the vanishing point. Where there is a space, there is also a body that defines it, even if it be via its negative form, absence." (Ronald Balczuweit) This type of construction of space remains defining for his series Photography and beyond, a "collection of films that can be combined freely and that deal with products designed by humans – architecture, drawings, writings, sculpture" (Emigholz). The series was established in 1993 and drew on previous work from the 1970s and 1980s. The films of the subseries Architecture as Autobiography show the extant buildings by architects, civil engineers and designers such as Bruce Goff, Adolf Loos, Robert Maillart, Rudolph Schindler, Louis Sullivan and others in chronological order. About film Emigholz states: "As a technical medium, film projects the spaces of memory themselves rather than presenting them solely by means of a mental trick. The media of writing, drawing, photography, film, electronic imagery and computing have shifted the complex art of recollection into a readily-available array of technically -generated storage systems. The ancient art of the rhetorician is still present, albeit in rudimentary form, in the memorizing of text by actors and speakers.
In New York in 1974, Emigholz began to work on Die Basis des Make-Up/The Basis of Make-Up, a series which grew to more than 600 drawings by 2008. The title goes back to the caption of a photo showing a skull in a makeup textbook from the 1930s. All the drawings were in black and white and were published as photographic prints in the format 54 x 64 cm. Like many of his films, they were developed from the artist’s notebooks which he uses to record sketches of his own texts and to paste various specimens of civilization garbage, sentences overheard on the street or on television, advertising, diagrams from military textbooks and much more. These bits and pieces were transformed in the drawings and films and were connected to one another in austere compositions, but their origins remained discernible. Narrative approaches emerge, yet they do not connect to a single narrative, but can still be combined freely. The "experience of the provisionality and relativity of all interpretations" (Hanne Loreck) is mirrored in this formal openness.
- Parabeton – Pier Luigi Nervi and Roman Concrete (Decampment of Modernism – Part I / Photography and beyond – Part 19), 2012, DCP, color, 100 min., director, camera, editing
- A Series of Thoughts (Miscellanea V, VI, VII und IV), 1987-2011, HDV, color, 91 min., director, camera, editing
- Zwei Projekte von Frederick Kiesler (Two Projects by Frederick Kiesler) 2006-2009, HDV, color, 16 min., director, camera, editing
- Sense of Architecture (explores over 50 projects of contemporary Austrian architects), 2005-2009, HDV, color, 168 min., director, camera, editing
- Loos Ornamental (about Adolf Loos), 2008, 35 mm, color, 72 min., director, camera, editing
- Schindler's Houses (about the American work of Rudolph Schindler), 2006–2007, 35 mm, color, 99 min., co-producer, editing, director, script, camera
- Miscellanea III, 1997–2005, 35 mm, color, 22 min., director, editing, camera
- The Basis of Make-Up III, 1996–2005, 35 mm, color, 26 min., director, camera, editing, drawings
- D’Annunzios Cave (a superb film about Gabriele d'Annunzio and his pretentious villa), 2002–2005, DigiBeta, color, 52 min., director, editing
- Goff in the Desert (explores 62 buildings by architect Bruce Goff), 2002-2003, 35 mm, color, 110 min., director, camera, editing
- Maillart's Bridges (explores the works of the legendary bridge builder Robert Maillart), 1995-1999, 35 mm, color, 24 min., director, camera, editing
- Sullivan's Banks (about Louis Sullivan's buildings for banks), 1993-1999, 35 mm, color, 38 min., director, camera, editing
- mammamia, 1997/98, by Sandra Nettelbeck, actor
- Schlafes Bruder, 1994/95,by Joseph Vilsmaier, actor
- Stalingrad, 1991/92, by Joseph Vilsmaier, actor
- The Holy Bunch, 1986–1990, 35 mm, black and white and color, 89 min., director, script, camera
- Die Wiese der Sachen, 1974–1987, 16 mm, black and white and color, 88 min., director, script, camera, editing, lighting, actor
- Home Movies 1971 - 1981, 1985, actor
- The Basis of Make-Up, 1979–1984, 16 mm, black and white and color, 84 min., director, script, camera, editing
- The Basis of Make-Up I, 1974–1983, 35 mm, color, no sound, 30 min., director, script, drawings, note books, camera, editing
- Execution. A Study of Mary, 1979, narrator
- Normalsatz, 1978–1981, 16 mm, black and white and color, 105 min., director, camera, editing, script, actor
- Bartleby, 1976, actor
- Demon. The Translation of "The Demon of Analogy" by Stéphane Mallarmé, 1976/77, 16 mm, black and white and color, 30 min., director, conceptual design, camera, editing, production
- Der Ort der Handlung, 1976/1977, actor
- Hotel, 1975/76, 16 mm, black and white, 27 min., director, conceptual design, camera, editing, production
- Stuhl, 1974/75, director, producer, camera, editing, script
- Tide, 1974, 16 mm, black and white, no sound, 33 min., director, conceptual design, camera, editing, production
- Arrowplane, 1973/74, 16 mm, color, no sound, 24 min., director, conceptual design, camera, editing, production
- Schenec-Tady III, 1972–1975, 16 mm black and white, no sound, 20 min., director, conceptual design, composition, camera, editing, production
- Schenec-Tady II, 1973, 16 mm, color, no sound, 18 Min., director, conceptual design, composition, camera, editing, production
- Schenec-Tady I, 1972/73, 16 mm, black and white, no sound, 27 min., director, conceptual design, composition, camera, editing, production
- Morningglory-Fragments, 1971, director, camera, editing, producer, script
- "Heinz Emigholz Faculty Page at European Graduate School (Biography, bibliography and video lectures)". European Graduate School. Retrieved 2010-10-02.
- Heinz Emigholz: "A Scene Near Schenec-Tady", in Ronald Balczuweit et al.: Heinz Emigholz. Normalsatz. Siebzehn Filme. Berlin: Schmitz, 2001, p. 39.
- Frieda Grafe: "Beschriebener Film. 1974–1985", Die Republik, 72–75 (1985), p. 216.
- Ronald Balczuweit: "Phänomenologische Rahmung", in: Balczuweit et al.: Heinz Emigholz. Normalsatz. Siebzehn Filme. Berlin: Schmitz, 2001, p. 140.
- Heinz Emigholz: "Photographie und jenseits", in: Ronald Balczuweit et al.: Heinz Emigholz. Normalsatz. Siebzehn Filme. Berlin: Schmitz, 2001, p. 299.
- Emigholz, Heinz. "Two Notes on Photography and beyond." in: Lecture at European Graduate School, Saas-Fee. August 15, 2010.
- See Stefan Ripplinger: "The Art of Separation. Heinz Emigholz Dissociates Words and Images", in: "Heinz Emigholz", museum für gegenwart, 11 (2007), Köln: Dumont, pp. 25–28.
- Hanne Loreck: „The pain starts at 10. p.m. Seeing Thinking“, in: "Heinz Emigholz“, translation by Catherine Nichols, museum für gegenwart, 11 (2007), Köln: Dumont, p. 20.
- Heinz Emigholz' official Website
- Heinz Emigholz Faculty Page at European Graduate School. (Biography, bibliography and video lectures)
- Heinz Emigholz - Catalogue of the German national library
- Heinz Emigholz at the Internet Movie Database
- Article in Der Standard
- Viennale-Site with pictures and reviews
- bilingual Website »Goff in the desert«
- Website »D’Annunzio’s CAVE «
- Website »Schindlers Häuser«
- Website »Loos Ornamental«