Minor Cinema
Experimental Film in Switzerland
Collection
Documents Series
Edited by
François Bovier
Adeena Mey
Anton Rey
Thomas Schärer
Fred Truniger

Author(s)
Jean-Michel Baconnier
Nicolas Brulhart
Renate Buschmann
Marcy Goldberg
Michael Hiltbrunner
Ute Holl
Thilo Koenig
Geneviève Loup
Siri Peyer
Ian Wooldridge

Edition
English
May 2020
ISBN: 978-3-03764-550-5
Softcover, 150 x 210 mm
432 pages
Images 30 b/w
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CHF 25 / EUR 20 / £ 16 / US 29.95

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An archeology of Swiss experimental film

A comprehensive theoretical book, "Minor Cinema: Experimental Film in Switzerland" traces the evolution of Swiss experimental film addressing the relationships between contemporary art and underground film, formal and amateur films, video, expanded cinema, and performance, national scene and international influences, with a special focus on how art schools and festivals were decisive for its development. As the editors state in the introduction, the aim of this pioneering publication is to look "back at the history of experimental film in Switzerland, the cinematic practices that are still considered the core of the avant-garde show, in the brief period from the mid-1960s to early 1970s, the initial signs of a 'minor' cinema, which produced exponents of experimental works which, though they have always remained on the margins of writing on the history of film, have never been forgotten entirely and were directly present in various places and times as central figures of a different kind of historical writing."

By deciphering the fragility and ramifications of historical genealogies and challenging them by modern and scientific approaches, the book proposes an active archeology of Swiss experimental cinema, making visible the main characteristics of its specific history—a history which developed in parallel to the international evolution of marginal cinema, albeit fragmentary, often delayed, and with powerful personal, institutional, and geographic idiosyncrasies. Taking those as methodological starting points for their reflection, the editors describe Swiss experimental film as “minor cinema,” quoting American scholar Branden W. Joseph.

An attempt to offer an overview of the development of Swiss experimental film practices, it includes essays, among other key protagonists and spaces of diffusion, on Robert Beavers and Gregory Markopoulos, Peter Liechti, Hans Helmut Klaus Schoenherr, Clemens Klopfenstein, the role of cinema at the Kunstalle Bern during Harald Szeemann’s curatorship, Annette Michelson, Tony Morgan, and Kurt Blum.

With essays by Jean-Michel Baconnier, François Bovier, Nicolas Brulhart, Renate Buschmann, Gabriel Flückiger, Marcy Goldberg, Michael Hiltbrunner, Ute Holl, Simon Koenig, Thilo Koenig, Geneviève Loup, Adeena Mey, Vrääth Ohner, Siri Peyer, Thomas Schärer, Fred Truniger, and Ian Wooldridge.

Published as the 18th volume of the "subtexte" series, Institute for the Performing Arts and Film (IPF), Zurich University of the Arts (ZHdK).

The book is part of the Documents series, co-published with Les presses du réel and dedicated to critical writing.