Beat Kuert

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Beat Kuert
Beat Kuert.jpg
Born3 November 1946
Zurich
NationalitySwiss
Spouse(s)Barbara Riesen
AwardsFestival di Hyeres : Critics Award and Special Award of the Jury
1979 Schilten – Best Director

Award of the International Association Cinema d´Arts et d´Essai
1979 Schilten – Best Director
Award of the Ecumenical Jury – Festival di Locarno
1979 Schilten – Best Director
Award Zürcher Filmpreis
1979 Schilten – Best Director
Award of the Jury "Chretiens Media" – Festival de droit de l´homme Strasbourg
1985 Martha Dubronski – Best Director
Festival di Bludenz Award of the Jury
1985 Martha Dubronski – Best Director
Festival di Bludenz Award of the Jury
1985 Martha Dubronski – Best Screenplay
Walo Award
2005 Berg und Geist – Best Director

Bizzarro di Bronzo – Festival Bizzarro
2009 Grave New World – Best Director
Websitebeatkuert.com

Beat Kuert is a film director, multimedia artist, and author considered by a number of critics, such as journalist Ernst Buchmüller and film producer Johannes Bösiger, one of the most daring explorers of his generation.[1][2]

His work investigates human existential dilemmas through aesthetic experiences that he stages as an artistic laboratory, drawing on various expressions and integrating different art forms. After a successful career as a film director, he devoted himself to visual arts. Kuert’s images are often provocative and their aim is giving the viewer a sense of wonder. The impression he strives to make revolves around seeking the sublime in human emotions. According to Kuert, the purpose of art is serving as a door to the unconscious. Therefore, an artist's role is inspiring others to look for the wonderful aspects outside everyday routine by infusing his works with energy and thus giving back all the energy he has drawn from the world.

1970s: Early experiences[edit]

Beat Kuert trained himself in visual arts in the 1960s and 1970s in Zurich: there were few cinema schools in that period and Kuert was against these institutions that tried to maintain and teach ideologies from the past. At the time, artists felt the need to take their inspiration from the streets, breaking down traditional barriers between intellectuals and workers, between creators and viewers. While sharing those ideas and drawing on the vitality of that period, Kuert chose to make his first feature film in a natural setting, conducting a dialogue with his inner world and filming in the mountains. His works sought an introspective point of view and this aspect is still a constant feature of his work. Turnus Film AG in Zurich noticed the artist's experimental short films and documentaries, and between 1968 and 1970 Kuert worked for the company as an editor and director. In 1971, during a nine-month trip to Latin America, he shot his first feature-length documentary, Ein Erfolg unserer Entwicklungshilfe, examining development policies in Latin America.[3]

Debut[edit]

As an independent filmmaker he made his debut in 1974 with the full-length film Mulungu, based on a Swiss German legend. The film tells the story of an architect who, after an accident on a glacier, has continuous encounters with a goatherd sacrificed to the Goat God Mulungu. The myth would remain a recurrent motif for Kuert.[4][5][6][7]

Statement[edit]

Kuert’s stories examine the experience of individual men overwhelmed by a feeling of emptiness that leads to violence and tragedy. In 1979 he shot Schilten,[8] a feature film based on a novel by Hermann Burger.

Personal life[edit]

In 1979 he married the television producer Barbara Riesen and they had a son, the film director and screenwriter Lucius C. Kuert.

1980s: "Al Castello" film productions[edit]

By the early Eighties Kuert gained a reputation as an accomplished experimental film director and producer. His repertoire was characterized by constant research into images and their possible manipulation and experimentation. Many of his stories are based on literary works in which the subject revolves around time. In Warten auf, a short film based on the play Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett, Kuert interprets time as the eternal expectation of something that never comes. The 1982 fictional documentary Die Zeit ist böse,[9] based on the novel "Der barmherzige Hügel" by Lore Berger, reveals the growing malaise of the leading character, locked into a meaningless and endless routine of work and study. The lack of inspiration to live even to the next day pushes her to extreme measures. The director chose to stage the suicide from the tower where the anti-heroine went every day until her death, and he exploits the powerful contrast between light and darkness. In these films time is stopped and ends with acquiescent agony. In 1985 Kuert left Zurich and with other directors and producers founded Al Castello,[10] an independent film production based in Arzo, in southern Switzerland.

1990s: Architecture documentaries[edit]

In 1996 Kuert directed several documentaries about some of the key figures in contemporary architecture: Jean Nouvel, Mario Botta, Herzog & de Meuron, Luigi Snozzi, Max Dudler.[11] For this works Kuert used a particular point of view as well as a personal style to convey each architect’s vision and aesthetic sense.

2000s: dust&scratches[edit]

From 2000 to 2006 Kuert taught at the Zelig School of Documentary and Television of Bolzano (Italy) and was professor of Visual Arts at the University of Supsi Lugano (Switzerland). Kuert has long felt it important to build his art as a creative container that, starting with its conception, includes the free and continuous interdisciplinary integration of the various artistic languages – video art, live performance, poetry, music, photography – to produce a complete and complex event. In 2005, after directing and producing the experimental film Tre artiste, Kuert put together a group of performers, musicians, photographers, dancers, and actors and set up headquarters in Arzo (Switzerland) to conceive, develop, and produce new projects. He founded the group dust&scratches, an artistic workshop that represents a live connector of different energies. Through its synergy, the group attempts to generate a new way of thinking about art that develops a strong artistic identity through continuous contamination and happenings. Many of the artists who have been or still are involved in it or have stated that the dust&scratches artistic workshop has represented a crucial moment in the development of their careers.[12][13]

2010s[edit]

Kuert’s work continues in the ‘10s with important installations in Personal Structures / Crossing Borders, collateral events of the Venice’s Biennale d’Arte in which, apart from analyzing the themes already abundantly explored in the previous decades, he approaches new thematic cores like the ones of hallucination and desire. In 2015 he presents FaultLine / TimeLine at Bembo Palace [14] and in 2017, in the same location, GOOD MORNING DARKNESS.[15] In November of the same year he is protagonist of the event Processualità ideative e attuative di un libro d’artista [16] held in Milan’s National Braidense Library during which he presents his last book Beat Me, A Pictorial Requiem.[17] In March 2018 takes part in MIA Photo fair,[18] the first and most important fair dedicated to photography and moving image with the project Quella Croce Bianca [19].

Artistic research[edit]

The process leading Kuert from experimental films to the figurative arts is marked by his search for the quintessential image that can encompass this intense energy as it unfolds. To achieve this goal, through performance Kuert first materializes a world where he immerses the spectator in his vision, subject to the conditions imposed by the spaces in which the performance takes place. Still images obtained from this experience seem to be composed of figures, but they are often enhanced with other languages – calligraphy, texts, and music staffs – and enriched with expressive titles often related to myths or to works evoked by the artist. Reworked in the studio, in a subsequent investigation his images express things that have never ceased to exist, but that continue in the eyes of the audience and that strive to awaken the desire to "be" the change we are waiting for.[20]

Artistic path[edit]

Kuert’s work investigates human existential dilemmas. The first theme he develops is related to time. His film characters experience eternal agony that often turns into tragedy. This is the first expression of pain and deep agony that Kuert identifies as stagnation. The expression of this distress grows in a violent scream to affirm one’s self or to look for an answer. In the Donna Carnivora project, his characters are destructive and they powerfully express their agony. They are presented as mythical figures, always feminine, since it is in the woman’s image that he distinguishes the vital and sensual element that ultimately transcends the carnal aspect to become a symbol of humankind.[21] The stillness, the boundaries, the outlined contours of the figures have the same meaning in Kuert's works. In his poetics, color and a sense of movement prevail over the subject’s precise definition, as can be seen in Destroyed Lines, asserting the desire for greater fluidity. The goal is representing emotions and bring together – through their depiction – the keys to access an inner world. This goal is always inspired by the fullest incitement experience can offer. When Kuert comes into contact with Eastern philosophies, he opens his horizons to new themes, as in Kan-Longing for Rain; he discovers how destruction and chaos can become the engine for new regeneration or change. He expresses the idea that it is not death that represents the end, but the lack of movement. With the development of the Wunderkammer, Kuert's cabinet of curiosities, his vision of the world multiplies, because there are many coexisting realities that are always slightly different yet are always part of a whole.[22] Kuert shares with the viewer the astonishment he feels as he probes the human soul and he strives to make us want to grasp this wonder from everyday life. The sense of hope, of energy, that lingers in everything around us is also expressed in the Moving Mountains and Illustrating Cities series. In the first series he uses the metaphor of mountains to manipulate their shapes and move them from their motionless image. In the second series, he instead offers a snapshot of vibrant New York City. He chose this subject for the tragedy that touched the city and the magnificence New York expresses, to show how the lives of men and their systems are superseded: it is from ruins that reconstruction is possible.

Recurring themes[edit]

Kuert continues to develop his message as the media he uses constantly evolve. The thread of Ariadne that guides this research is the eternal becoming, in a constant succession of the apparent dichotomy between destruction and rebirth, where the former implies the latter. The idea of circular time is always eternally present in Kuert’s characters, treated as mythical figures in a sacred space in constant search for an explanation or a reason that goes beyond the everyday human experience.

Destruction and rebirth[edit]

Kuert’s works and their display engender constant oscillation between opposites through the media he uses and the issues he represents.

In his words: Working digitally is a kind of philosophy for me. It means creating with the binary language of 0 and 1. Two complementary values that may be interpreted in multiple ways like‘ on and off’, ‘yes and no’, but also ‘yin and yang’, ‘to be or not to be’, Isis and Osiris and so on.

Kuert views himself as an artist of the "sublime". In his poetry he always plays with concepts and their opposites: the carnality of his figures and their symbolic developments, the digital medium and the picturesque image, the destruction of his own images to seek a new meaning yet again, and the representation of pain to evoke hope.[23]

Time[edit]

Early in his career, the artist related his stories to one man, but a person's life has a beginning and an end in a defined space-time. In a second step, the narrative was condensed in an instant through overlapping layers that produce a single image expressing all the contents. Lastly, Kuert tells the stories not of individual lives that are followed on and off, but of humankind.

Epic is always equal to itself, like the sea. It always has the same movements, the same repetitions. The narrative form demands that there be a beginning and an end, but this is fictional. There are numerous people on Earth, and each has a beginning and an end, just as the waves forming the sea repeat themselves, and this intrigues me. I very much like the idea of a repetition that is always different, just as no two waves are alike.

The characters are then united and dematerialized; refined through revisions, they become symbols. Kuert’s ultimate goal is to elevate humans by appealing to their inner selves, astonishing and leaving a sense of regeneration, conveying the feeling that all of time lies in just one moment.

Myth[edit]

Myth is a sacred narrative form through poetic or philosophical allegories of the origins of the world before written history. Kuert has often used this theme in the titles of his works, evoking existing myths or building his own. The time of his subjects is never defined, but is eternally present and cyclical, the theme of repetition linked to oral tradition is the story that is often repeated with slight variations; he uses them to express religious or moral needs and encodes a belief. Myth becomes a vital element of human civilization and an active force built up over time. His works are inspired by spatial form in the same way.

Humankind[edit]

Kuert’s work focuses on human emotions and existential questions. His evocative and often provocative works are characterized by the fact that they are an integral part of the evolution of different artistic disciplines that collaborate with each other. His art powerfully distances itself from pure formalism to create a strong emotional impact, aiming to astonish people through his images in order to stir their imagination and beckon them to contemplate and seek a sense of wonder.

Selected exhibitions[edit]

  • 3-4/2007; Donna Carnivora; performance and music, video installations, and photographs; Scoletta dei Tiraoro e Battioro, Venice.
  • 11/2008; Destroyed Lines; performance, video installations, photographs, and sculptures; Yuanfen New Media Art Space, Beijing.
  • 6/1-28/2/2010, Room Without a View; exhibition, performance, video installations, photographs, and sculptures; New B Gallery, Shanghai.
  • 7/2010; KAN-Longing for Rain; solo exhibition and live performance; Inter Art Gallery, Beijing.
  • 9/2010; Pingyao Photo Festival; Pingyao, represented by Inter Art Center, Beijing.
  • 7-8/2012, Wunderkammer; solo exhibition; M&C Saatchi, Shanghai.
  • 30/11-4/12/2013; Et Sic in Infinitum; personal project for the 9th Florence Biennale; installation and performance; Florence Biennale, Florence.
  • 9/5/2015 - 22/11/2015; FaultLine/TimeLine VENICE BIENNALE 2015 contribute to the collateral event Personal Structures, at Palazzo Bembo.
  • 13/05/2017 - 26/11/2017; Good Morning Darkness, Palazzo Bembo, contribute to the collateral event of LVII Biennale d’arte di Venezia.
  • 9-12/3/2018 - MIA Photo Fair / THE MALL, Milano.

Publications[edit]

  • Beat Me, A Pictorial Requiem - Published by EYEMAZING Editions, 2017
  • Et Sic in Infinitum, catalogue produced and distributed by dust&scratches, with essays by Rolando Bellini. Published for the 9th Florence Biennale, 2013.
  • Wunderkammer, catalogue produced and distributed by dust&scratches, with essays by Enzo Di Martino. Published for the solo exhibition Wunderkammer at M&C Saatchi Gallery, Shanghai, 2012.
  • Gaia – Beat Kuert, catalogue produced and distributed by QTI, Fotografi della Svizzera Italiana series, edited by Adriano Heitmann, 2010.
  • Kan – Longing for Rain, catalogue produced and distributed by ICON Media, edited by Na Risong, and with an introduction by Gu Zheng and Wu Hong, 2010.
  • Destroyed Lines, catalogue produced and distributed by dust&scratches, edited by David Ben Kay and Laetitia Gauden, and with an introduction by Gu Zheng and Wu Hong, 2010.
  • Donna Carnivora, catalogue produced and distributed by dust&scratches, with essays by Enzo Di Martino, 2007.

Selected filmography[edit]

[24][25] Director

  • Lulla (1966), short film
  • Eine Welt wie Barbara (1967), short film
  • Ein Erfolg unserer Entwicklungshilfe (1971), documentary
  • Mulungu (1974), feature film
  • Schilten (verschiedene internationale Auszeichnungen) (1979), based on Schilten by Hermann Burger[26][27]
  • Die Zeit ist böse (1982)[28]
  • Pi-errotische Beziehungen (1982)
  • Martha Dubronski, (1984)[29]
  • Deshima, with screenplay by Adolf Muschg (1986)[30]
  • L´Assassina (1989), featuring Maria Sofia Ricci and Margaret Mazzantini[31]
  • Der Grossinquisitor, based on a legend from the novel The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky (1991)
  • Hanna & Rocky (1993), featuring and produced by Gardi Hutter
  • Am Ende der Zeit (1998)[32]
  • Jean Nouvel, Ästhetik des Wunderbaren, portrait of the architect Jean Nouvel (1998)[33]
  • Tate Modern, Portrait of the Restored London Art Gallery (2000) [34][35]
  • Herzog & de Meuron (2002)[36][37] (2002)
  • Architectour de Suisse-Portraits of Swiss architects (Herzog & de Meuron, Mario Campi, Luigi Snozzi, Ivano Gianola, Moro & Moro, Mario Botta) (2002)
  • ICHLIEBEMICH (2003), portrait of the artist Alex Sadkowsky[38][39]
  • La Nuova Scala(2005)[40]
  • Berg&Geist[41] (2004–2014)

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-11-10. Retrieved 2014-11-10.
  2. ^ http://www.afo.at/event.php?item=4491
  3. ^ http://dustandscratches.tv/ds/press/press7.html
  4. ^ https://www.nytimes.com/movies/movie/155796/Mulungu/overview
  5. ^ Le cinéma suisse: 1898-1998, Freddi Buache,cit., pag. 204
  6. ^ L’usage de la liberté: le nouveau cinema suisse, 1964-1984, Martin Schaub, pag. 157
  7. ^ Panorama du cinéma fantastique suisse, Michel Vust, "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-11-10. Retrieved 2014-11-10.
  8. ^ "Schilten (1979)". IMDb. 1 September 1980. Retrieved 22 October 2014.
  9. ^ "Die Zeit Is Bose (1982)". The New York Times. Retrieved 22 October 2014.
  10. ^ "Al Castello Produzioni Cinematografiche". Alcastello.tv. Retrieved 22 October 2014.
  11. ^ "SWISS FILMS". Swissfilms.ch. Retrieved 22 October 2014.
  12. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-11-10. Retrieved 2014-11-10.
  13. ^ http://dustandscratches.tv/ds/press/press6.html
  14. ^ "BEAT KUERT. FaultLine / TimeLine | CLP Relazioni Pubbliche". www.clponline.it (in Italian). Retrieved 2018-03-07.
  15. ^ "BEAT KUERT Good Morning Darkness | CLP Relazioni Pubbliche". www.clponline.it (in Italian). Retrieved 2018-03-07.
  16. ^ "16 novembre | Incontro con BEAT KUERT: Processualità ideative e attuative di un libro d'artista | CLP Relazioni Pubbliche". www.clp1968.it (in Italian). Retrieved 2018-03-07.
  17. ^ "Il caso Beat Kuert - 16/11/2017" (in Italian). Retrieved 2018-03-07.
  18. ^ "MIA PHOTO FAIR". www.miafair.it. Retrieved 2018-03-09.
  19. ^ "MIA PHOTO FAIR » Beat Kuert". www.miafair.it. Retrieved 2018-03-09.
  20. ^ http://www.joannafu.net/beat-kuert%EF%BC%9A%E5%9B%BE%E7%89%87%E6%98%AF%E4%B8%80%E7%A7%8D%E9%AB%98%E7%BA%A7%E5%88%AB%E7%9A%84%E8%BF%90%E5%8A%A8/
  21. ^ http://www.imagine-gallery.com/artists/beat-kuert/statement/
  22. ^ http://www.beatkuert.com/pubblication/the-alchemy-of-art-by-enzo-di-martino/
  23. ^ http://www.art-in-berlin.de/ausstellungs-text.php?id=1164
  24. ^ http://explore.bfi.org.uk/4ce2ba17856a1
  25. ^ http://www.filmdienst.de/personen/beat-kuert,2270.html
  26. ^ "Schilten (1979)". The New York Times. Retrieved 22 October 2014.
  27. ^ "Schilten (1979)". IMDb. 1 September 1980. Retrieved 22 October 2014.
  28. ^ "Die Zeit Is Bose (1982)". The New York Times. Retrieved 22 October 2014.
  29. ^ "Martha Dubronski (1984)". The New York Times. Retrieved 23 October 2014.
  30. ^ "Deshima : Filmbuch / Adolf Muschg - National Library of Australia". Catalogue.nla.gov.au. Retrieved 22 October 2014.
  31. ^ "L'assassina (1989)". IMDb. Retrieved 22 October 2014.
  32. ^ "SWISS FILMS". Swissfilms.ch. Retrieved 22 October 2014.
  33. ^ "SWISS FILMS". Swissfilms.ch. Retrieved 22 October 2014.
  34. ^ "SWISS FILMS". Swissfilms.ch. Retrieved 22 October 2014.
  35. ^ "Tate Modern (2000)". IMDb. 7 December 2000. Retrieved 22 October 2014.
  36. ^ "The 30 Architecture Docs To Watch In 2013". ArchDaily. Retrieved 22 October 2014.
  37. ^ "Architects Herzog & de Meuron [videorecording] : two films by Beat Kuert". Searchworks.stanford.edu. Retrieved 22 October 2014.
  38. ^ "Alex Sadkowsky – animal metaphysicum" (PDF). Kunstmuseumolten.ch. Retrieved 22 October 2014.
  39. ^ "SWISS FILMS". Swissfilms.ch. Retrieved 22 October 2014.
  40. ^ "Ordine Architetti Pianificatori Paesaggisti Conservatori della Provincia di Reggio Calabria - CINEMARCHITETTURA". Rc.archiworld.it. Retrieved 22 October 2014.
  41. ^ "Werkschau von Beat Kuert auf 3sat – News - Media Newsroom – Schweizer Radio und Fernsehen". Srf.ch. Archived from the original on 21 February 2014. Retrieved 22 October 2014.

External links[edit]