*1982 in Vienna, lives in Vienna
Johann Lurf studied fine arts at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna. He is known as an experimental filmmaker who cannot easily be subsumed under one style or category. His works examine various modes of vision and motion, but his more formally-oriented films are always accompanied by strong narratives that, however subtly, examine society, codes, norms, perception, and the history and development of cinema itself. Dabbling in short and feature-length films, analogue and digital, found-footage and his own shots, Johann Lurf has created a wide variety of cinematic works, many of which have been featured at film festivals and cultural institutions, notably the Sundance Film Festival, the Anthology Film Archives, Austrian Cultural Forum New York and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.
Installation on the film ★
2020, posters, notebook, book draft via slide projection
The research during my stay in Berlin was linked to my found-footage film ★(2017), in which scenes of clear starry night skies from film history are compiled and compared with each other. The result is a book that visually engages with the peculiarities of the collected material, expands on this and examines the context of the images. It mainly shows film stills from scenes followed by a starry night sky and compares these. A notebook with texts on the film has also been published.
To embed the book and the film ★in the exhibition, posters from the collection of the Akademie der Künste will be displayed. This selection focuses on the period of the 1950s and 1960s during the space race of the Cold War between the USSR and the USA. The posters are artifacts of that era from the Soviet perspective, produced to manifest their dominance in space. To balance this strong rhetoric, an opposing collection is on display: film posters from Hollywood films from the 1970s to the 1990s. These pop culture advertisements are selected for their representations of starry skies as the main subject of their visual composition as well as their promising taglines. The commercial language used on these posters shows similarities to the language of propaganda from decades before –
and has not changed to this day.
Thank you to Paul Gasser, Helmut Hamm, Christian Mitterbauer, Susanne Reinhardt, Katarina Schildgen, Anna Schultz, Laura Wagner.