Edition 11, year 2011
Shown in Werner Nekes - shorts with:
gurtrug no. 1, jüm-jüm, Kelek, vis-à-vis
Werner Nekes - shorts
subtitles: Polish and English
gurtrug no. 1
gurtrug Nr. 1
FRG 1967 / 12’
director: Werner Nekes
screenplay: Werner Nekes
cinematography: Werner Nekes
editing: Werner Nekes
music editing: Werner Nekes
producer: Werner Nekes
sales: Werner Nekes
language: no dialogues
colouration: colour

Stan Brakhage said: since Peter Kubelka’s films, [gurtrug no. 1] is the first European film I’ve genuinely liked. From a bird’s-eye view, we see 26 people and two horses in a meadow, all moving chaotically. Music and moments of silence. The stillness of the camera. Seemingly one long shot interrupted by second-long cut-ins – why seemingly? Because Werner Nekes plays with our perceptions (Trug is the German for ‘illusion’), making it difficult to perceive patterns in the apparently random movement of people. Nekes insists that we reflect on the possibilities of his medium.

FRG 1967 / 10’
director: Werner Nekes, Dore O.
screenplay: Werner Nekes
cinematography: Werner Nekes
editing: Werner Nekes
music editing: Werner Nekes
cast: Dore O.
producer: Werner Nekes
sales: Werner Nekes
language: no dialogues
colouration: colour

Werner Nekes made the short film jüm-jüm with his wife, Dore O, in 1967. During a span of ten minutes, we see the swaying body of a girl against a background of a screen with a phallic motif. The filmmakers used various editing techniques to make this initially simple movement increasingly fragmentary, ultimately giving it a wholly new rhythm in a sort of a visual staccato. In this experimental film Nekes and Dore O. escape the confines of film narrative to bridge the gap between motion pictures and fine art.

Dore O.

Born in 1946 in Mülheim an der Ruhr, where she still lives and works. German film director, painter, and photographer. She studied design in Fachhochschule Krefeld and painting in Hamburg and Perugia. Since 1967, she has been making experimental films. She is a co-founder of the Hamburger Filmmacher Cooperative. She is the wife and co-worker of Werner Nekes, in whose films she also starred as an actress.

Selected filmography:

1967 jüm-jüm (short, co-dir.)
1968 Alaska (short)
1974 Kaskara (short)
1981 Beuys (short, co-dir.)
1991 Candida
2000 Eye-Step (short)

FRG 1968 / 60’
director: Werner Nekes
screenplay: Werner Nekes
cinematography: Werner Nekes
editing: Werner Nekes
producer: Werner Nekes
sales: Werner Nekes
language: no dialogues
colouration: b&w

Another of Werner Nekes’ experiments sees the artist exploring the possibilities of form within the film medium, while also examining its identity. Kelek is black and white, and silent. We see a park through which the director walks with his camera. Then from worm’s-eye view – as if from a cellar – we watch a street in Hamburg. Nekes’ places the camera in unusual places, as under a girl’s skirt, for example, while at other times he seems to merely document the life of the street. Nekes does not follow people; they enter into the frame at random.

Kelek is a film about watching. Nekes takes on unconventional points of view, repeatedly casting the viewer in the role of the voyeur: watching the world with a curiosity about what is forbidden and taboo. Nekes follows up on voyeurism’s primary, erotic connotations by juxtaposing the urban scenery with scenes verging on pornography. However, the German director simultaneously escapes the reality of his setting, exploring the possibilities of form in sequences of accelerated film and erotic scenes shown in negative, giving his minimalist silent film a quality akin to visual music.

FRG 1968 / 14’
director: Werner Nekes
screenplay: Werner Nekes
cinematography: Werner Nekes
editing: Werner Nekes
cast: Gerhard Büttenbender, Katja, Heinz Kapp, Joachim Wolf, Dore O., Werner Nekes
producer: Werner Nekes
sales: Werner Nekes
language: no dialogues
colouration: b&w

Six people are sitting still, looking into the eye of the camera as if they were posing for a photograph. One shot, lasting 14 minutes. Nothing is happening. Although using a still frame, Werner Nekes is once more experimenting with motion picture. Vis-à-vis may seem to be a contradiction of the very idea of film, but in subtle fashion the director paradoxically draws close to the very essence of cinematography. Recording unrelentingly, the camera registers every slightest movement – after all, the subjects of Nekes’ portrait are living, breathing people.

Information about director

Werner Nekes

German avant-garde film producer and collector. Werner Nekes was born in 1944 in Erfurt and studied linguistics and psychology in Freiburg. He then went to Bonn in 1964 where he was a head of the University Film Club and later chairman of the FIAG. He developed friendships with film directors, sculptors and painters. These included Dore 0., his companion and collaborator since 1967. He began painting in 1965 with diverse materials and objects. He started his practice of film with 8mm and went on with 16mm. He decided to free the film from narration and psychology and organized his films according to temporal units and structural systems.


1965 Tom Doyle i Eva Hesse / Tom Doyle und Eva Hesse / Tom Doyle and Eva Hesse (short)

1966 Falstart / Fehlstart / The False Start (short)

1966 Start / The Start (short)

1966 Przedmiot / Artikel / The Item (short)

1967 Łuk / Bogen / The Bow (short)

1967 Cięcia dla ABABA / Schnitte für ABABA / Cuts for ABABA (short)

1967 cip cip cip / put-putt / chick, chick, chick (short)

1967 jüm-jüm (short, co-dir.)

1967 Seminarium / Das Seminar / The Seminar (doc., co-dir.)

1967 gurtrug nr 1 / gurtrug Nr. 1 / gurtrug no. 1 (short)

1967 gurtrug nr 2 / gurtrug Nr. 2 / gurtrug no. 2 (short)

1967 Bo nikt nie wie o tym / Ach wie gut, daß niemand weiß / Oh, I Am Glad That Nobody Knew (short)

1967 C/iało / K/örper / B/ody (short)

1967 Filmy drapane, kąsane, naświetlane, dziurawione i łatane / Kratz-, Beiß-, Licht-, Loch- und Flickerfilme / Scratch, Bite, Light, Hole and Patch Movies

1967 Operacja / Operation / The Operation (short)

1968 vis-à-vis (short)

1968 Film grupowy / Gruppenfilm / The Group Movie (short)

1968 Zipzibbelip (short)

1968 Mamo, tam stoi mężczyzna / Mama, da steht ein Mann / Mama, There’s a Man Standing There (short)

1968 Walka Tarzana z gorylem / Tarzan’s Kampf mit dem Gorilla / Tarzan’s Fight with the Gorilla (short)

1968 Mucząca krowa / Muhkuh / The Moo-Cow (short)

1968 Kelek

1965–1969 Palimpsest

1969 Mgławica / Nebula

1970 Abbandono (short)

1971 Spacecut

1972 T-WO-MEN

1972 Z Altony / Aus Altona / From Altona (short)

1973 Arbatax (short)

1973 Otomana / Diwan / The Divan

1974 Makimono (short)

1975 Photophthalmia (short)

1976 Amalgamat / Amalgam

1976 Falun (short)

1977 Lagado

1978 Mirador

1978 Bei der Lichtbildnerin (short)

1979 Horly (short)

1979 Hurrycan

1979 Mała noc / Little Night (short)

1980 Peggy i inni lub gdzie są awangardowcy? / Peggy und die anderen oder Wer trägt die Avantgarde? / Peggy and the Others or Who Carries the Avant-Garde? (co-dir.)

1981 Beuys (short, co-dir.)

1980 Uliisses

1982 Nekes (doc., co-dir., short)

1982 Spojrzenie ze zgodnego więzienia / Blick aus dem harmonischen Gefängnis / A Look from the Harmonious Prison (short)

1983–1985 Optyczne abecadło / Optisches ABC / Optical ABC

1985 Johnny Flash

1986 Media Magica I – Film przed filmem / Media Magica I – Was geschah wirklich zwischen den Bildern? / Media Magica I – Film Before Film (doc.)

1988 Archeologia filmu / Vorgeschichte des Films / The Archeology of Film

1992 Mitchell Feigenbaum (short, co-dir.)

1993–1996 Światowy teatr cieni, I–IX / Schattentheater der Welt, I–IX / The Shadow Theatre of the World, I–IX (video, doc.)

1995 Anthony Moore – muzyk / Anthony Moore – Musician (video)

1995 Aus der Meistergilde der Schüttelreimer (video)

1996 Media Magica II – Co się kryje za obrazem / Media Magica II – Durchsehekunst / Media Magica II – Beyond the Image (doc.)

1996 Media Magica III – Ożywione obrazy / Media Magica III – Belebte Bilder / Media Magica III – Pictures Come to Life (doc.)

1996 Media Magica IV – Wielotysięczny seans filmowy / Media Magica IV – Vieltausendschau / Media Magica IV – Multi-Thousand Picture Show (doc.)

1996 Media Magica V – Obraz i przestrzeń / Media Magica V – Bild-Raum / Media Magica V – The Ambiguous Image and Space (doc.)

1996 Media Magica VI – Cudowny bębenek / Media Magica VI – Wundertrommel / Media Magica VI – The Magic Drum (doc.)

1997 Dzień malarza / Der Tag des Malers / The Day of the Painter

2004 Teatr cieni Richarda Bradshawa / Richard Bradshaw’s Shadowtheater / Richard Bradshaw’s Shadow Theatre

2008 Loplop (short)

Prepared by: Marta Miś

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