AUTHENTICITY IN EXPERIMENTAL DOCUMENTARY ANIMATION. THE SIGNIFICANCE AND VALUE OF SUBJECTIVE ARTISTIC POSITIONS.
Holger Lang (Austria)
1 – Webster University
Holger Lang is an Austrian artist, filmmaker, and researcher, living and working in Vienna. For almost 25 years he is teaching animation, media arts and aesthetics, he is organizing academic conferences in multiple countries, he is curating programs of European and Austrian animation and experimental films for various venues, and he is managing and curating an independent gallery in Vienna. His artistic focus reaches from abstract and conceptual work to experimental and interdisciplinary projects. The output of his work in film, experimental animation, and fine arts has been shown in solo and group screenings, and exhibitions for more than 3 decades. Exploratory, idiosyncratic, personal, and primal facets of human aspirations and efforts are in the center of his creative endeavors. Alongside his academic and artistic work, he is the founder and director of an Austrian film festival that focuses on animation and connected interdisciplinary approaches.
The system of cognitive processes that we simplify by calling them “memories” is essential for us all when we try to understand our roles, functions, and possibilities throughout our lifetimes. Without personal memories, we can not develop an identity, but memories are volatile and deceptive, the can change, they may fool you and get distorted over time. Memories are not documents. They vary from person to person as they depend not only on the individual perception but also on previous experiences. The development of recording media, like photography, enabled us to extend the resources that we use to remember places and times that we lived through. However, today also such devices are not reliable anymore and can be manipulated. Artistic examination of individualized memories is one of the most valuable tools to discuss the precarious quality of recollection and documentation. The emergence of individual artistic identities requires persistence and authenticity. Animation is a medium that allows artists to work with time, to manipulate time and to create the sensation of time. Memories in combination with the use of photographic images enable artists to discuss and question common approaches to the abstract concept of time, to the development of individual identities and communication with other people. The authenticity manifested in artistic work allows a society to look at itself from unexpected, idiosyncratic angles, and thus will contribute to the overall development.