What is this project all about?
In our digital age, the recording and distribution of culture is growing at an exponential scale, yet owing to its nature the preservation of this culture has never been as unstable and short-lived as now. Where are the letters to your daughter that she can rediscover as a grandmother? What happens to Film if God pulls the plug?
What is the project goal and who is the project for?
Fritz Lang’s Film M is transferred image by image into printed pictures, while each single take (being the smallest cinematic entity) defines a separate book.
157,200 pictures are bound into 499 books and collected in a bookshelf.
The use of books makes the work an archive of a most enduring kind, a means of conservation beyond the age of electricity.
Books vary in length according to the length of the individual takes, but otherwise share identical width and height as well as outer appearance (format A5, white soft cover, sequentially numbered labeling).
Rhythm and structure of the film – its DNA – become visible.
MFILES is a sculptural statement of baroque dimension, transcoding time (103 minutes) into space (17 meters), a sort of physical repercussion of the imperative of immaterialization.
The massive amount of matter generated from the discarnate and fleeting phenomenon called film serves as counterpoint to the contemporary reception of movies, the 99-cent download.
But why M?
Apart from being among Zeyen´s favorite movies and set in his home town of Berlin, M is largely regarded as one of the best films of all times. It represents the heyday of Weimar culture. Peter Lorre, the lead actor, shot the film with Fritz Lang at during the day and acted in the theatre with Bertold Brecht at night. Lang himself considered M to be his best work. Being one of the first talkies, it experiments with the contrast of sound and silence in unprecedented ways. Only two thirds of the movie actually contain sound.
M is the grandfather of the suspense movie, and the psychological state of terror the murderer imposes on the city gives the film a very contemporary feel.
Why would you support this project?
Where are the letters to your daughter that she can rediscover
as a grandmother? What happens to Film if God pulls the plug?
If you sympathize with these questions, Please help make MFILES a reality.
How will we use the money if the project is successfully funded?
If the project is successfully funded, the print workshop will deliver the black & white prints. The 499 books will be handmade by the artist. This process of bookbinding, indespensable for the unique analogue character of the work, stretches over a period of two months and imposes a movie reception of extreme slow motion upon the artist. A two-month-long visit to the movies.