EISENBERGER

About the Film

Synopsis

Art is merely a label of no relevance according to the artist Christian Eisenberger. At the age of 40 he has created over 45,000 works. He deposited thousands of them on streets and squares, where anyone could gather them up. He defies galleries, art fairs and museums with his unrestrained production. His art runs rampant, eluding all control. In a milieu that desperately struggles for attention and recognition, Eisenberger again and again asks, "What really constitutes artistic freedom? And does it require artists at all?”

Protagonists

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Christian Eisenberger

The Austrian artist on the question: What is art?

«Art is just a societal pretext. We have art, we have religion. We have this category, that category and the other category. But everyone wants to deconstruct those categories.»

http://christianeisenberger.com

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Hermann Glettler, Bishop

«He once said: "I want to consciously miss everything here for 40 days". It is the opposite position to the demand to live events and experiences, in which we are all caught up in and are driven by. He did not design this action as a religious act, but it automatically had great spiritual depth. He represents the many individuals who are always running around — but he chose instead to lock himself in the church.»

Hermann Glettler has been Bishop of Innsbruck since 2017. From 1997–2017, he was pastor in the parish of Graz St. Andrä. Behind his church, the young Eisenberger was able to use a shelter as an open-air studio. In 2007, Eisenberger fasted in silence for 40 days on the church gallery – it was an experience that deeply influenced him and that he later expanded upon with a performance symbolizing the resurrection at Art Cologne in 2009.

http://www.andrae-kunst.org/kunst.html

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Philipp Teuchtler, Art collector

«If something is valuable, it is hidden behind plexiglass or dismounted within hours. Except for Christian's cardboard figures. Either they were picked up by the garbage collector or somebody tore their heads off. People knew that they wouldn’t stay put for long. Within hours they would disappear.»

Philipp Teuchtler is a record salesman in Vienna. While his mother was accumulated cookbooks and his father coffee machines, Philipp Teuchtler started collecting street art. This interest has grown into a passion, and Teuchtler now has an extensive collection, which needs more care than he can provide. He lives in constant worry that water damage or mold could destroy these works. Teuchtler has a story behind every piece – an early morning foray, a smart trade-off, the realization that an object that no one appreciates is in fact already a work of art.

http://www.schallplatten-ankauf-wien.com

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Christine Eisenberger, Mother

«Christian was always outside. In the brook, in the forest. He needs nature. He is a child of nature.»

Christian Eisenbergers parents Christine Eisenberger and Willi Eisenberger run a small farm in Semriach . In the past, Christine Eisenberger used to receive guests for holiday on the farm; Willi Eisenberger worked at the paper mill nearby, where Christian Eisenberger later completed a locksmith apprenticeship. In the meadows and forest belonging to the farm, Christian Eisenberger works on countless installations and performances out of public view.

http://www.semriach.at

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Dr. Grete Müller, art historian

«That's, of course, the million-dollar question, "What is art?" I used to think a lot about it, but in the end, I gave up pursuing the question because there are just so many answers. I have moved on to the position of viewing art as what gives me aesthetic enjoyment, things that engage me.»

Dr. Grete Müller Dr. Grete Müller holds a doctorate in art history and art criticism. In addition to regular publications in Art, Parnassus, etc., Müller also organizes interdisciplinary workshops, such as the "Interdisciplinary Symposium for Artists and Academics within the ArtPRO doctoral program", University of Hanover. Müller works as a freelance curator and lives in Düsseldorf and Maribor.

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Ursula Krinzinger, Gallery owner

«This split that most artists experience – on one side their work and on the other the art market - is actually terrible. Because it's about money, it's about worth, interesting collectors, and superficial investors. But we need to have the art trade and the retail side or you can't help the artist along.»

Ursula Krinzinger betreibt ihre Galerie an mehreren Standorten in Wien und unterhält Künstler-Residenzen im Ausland. Mit ihrem Team ist sie rund um den Globus auf allen relevanten Kunst-messen präsent. Sie vertritt Christian Eisenberger seit 2013 und koordiniert seine Ausstellungen überall, wo Christian Eisenberger ausstellt.  

http://www.galerie-krinzinger.at

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Sandro Droschl, Curator

«Christian Eisenberger's work and personality are expressed through his resolve and gestures and an almost permanent production process. But this is also dangerous — because the pursuit of clear artistic strategies may suffer as a result.»

Sandro Droschl was in charge of several artistic projects like for Steirischer Herbst, the Kunsthaus Graz, the Diagonale Film Festival and the Museums¬quartiert Vienna. As director of Künstlerhaus Graz he featured there Eisenberger's first big museum show in 2014, where he opposed two diametrically opposed artists in the exhibition "André Butzer/Christian Eisenberger".

https://www.km-k.at

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Philipp Konzett, Art dealer/gallery owner

«I think that people actually deal with art on a daily basis within their lives: Even cooking can be an artform. Art is intrinsically connected with life.»

Philipp Konzett is an art dealer and gallery owner in Vienna. He possesses a large collection of work from the Viennese Actionism movement as well as by Franz West. His gallery represented Christian Eisenberger from 2008–2014.  

http://www.artkonzett.com

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Brigitte Kowanz, Artist

«It is certainly not enough to create good art. Success also has to do with the network that an artist has – or does not have. This network comprises curators, galleries, museum people, and also the collectors who accompany you. And, of course, the recipient. A large number of people are involved in the artist persona in order to allow an artist's career to flourish.»

Brigitte Kowanz is an artist and professor for Transmedia Art at the University of Applied Arts Vienna. Since 1980 the core of her work focuses on the relation of space and light. Together with Erwin Wurm, she represented Austria at the 2017 Venice Art Biennale.

http://kowanz.com/de

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Gernot Schulz, Art collector

«Someone who does not know Christian Eisenberger will probably be disturbed by the density of sculptures, works of art, and everyday objects that can be found in his studio. There is no separation between where he lives, works, sleeps, or cooks. I know people who went there and said: It's too much for me, it’s too full – I don't know what I saw there.»

Gernot Schulz is an engineer and art collector in Vienna. He has repeatedly procured properties meant for demolition so that artists from Eisenberger's environment can use them as inexpensive studios. Schulz maintains the Kunstnetzwerk initiative, which operates various exhibition showrooms in Vienna and Krems.

http://kunstnetzwerk.org

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Hercli Bundi

Hercli Bundi is the director and mostly works in the background. In certain situations, however, he steps into the spotlight. When in front of the camera, Eisenberger often addresses Bundi directly  and a dialogue between the observed and the observer ensues.  

Eisenberger: «So, do you know what art is? Can you tell me?»

Bundi: «Yes, of course. When you frame it, hang it on the wall and can sleep underneath it without continually waking up paralyzed with fear, then it's art. And if I think I'd like to do it by myself but I lack the confidence to do it, then it’s art too.»

Eisenberger: «Aha, interesting, great explanation!»

http://www.mirafilm.ch

Director

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Hercli Bundi was born in 1964 in Glarus. From 1988 to 1992 he studied film directing and producing at the Ecole cantonale d'art in Lausanne. Together with Vadim Jendreyko he founded in 2002 the production company Mira Film. Fromt 2007 to 2010 he worked in addition as a producer at the Zürcher Hochschule der Künste / Master of Arts in Films. As a director Hercli Bundi is interested in the interface between society and art. In his films with Christian Eisenberger ("Eisenberger – Art must be beautiful, as the frog says to the fly" 2018), Ai Weiwei ("The House in the Park", 2010) or Not Vital ("Not Vital - half Man, half Animal", 2000) he is looking for a personal but yet critical access to dominant protagonists. He wants to open a particular insight into their creativity. As a producer and dramaturg Hercli Bundi is enthusiastic about films with a love of cinematic form that appeal to a wide audience.

More about the director HERE

Eisenberger

«Anyone can do what artists do, but not everyone does it and that's the small difference, to my mind.»

Directors's Note

«Is it art or garbage?»

Theme

«Art is just a label without any real relevance»

What is Art

««Art is what artists do.» Brigitte Kowanz»

Art Quotes

«Art washes away from the soul, the dust of everyday life. Pablo Picasso»

Technical Details

Resolution
HD
Format
DCP
Duration
94min
Aspect Ratio
16:9
Color
Yes
Year
2018
Original Language
German
Subtitles
English
Country
Switzerland
ISAN
0000-0004-BC87-0000-E-0000-0000-W

Credits

With

Christian Eisenberger

And

Sandro Droschl, Brigitte Kowanz, Philipp Konzett, Ursula Krinzinger, Gernot Schulz, Christine Eisenberger, Willi Eisenberger, Bischof Hermann Glettler, Julian Riess, Grete Müller, Philipp Teuchtler, Manfred Wiplinger, Joachim Vötter, Johann Loibl, Peter Kozek, Mathias Lehner, Raimo Rudi Rumpler, Hieronymus

Script & Director

Hercli Bundi

Montage

Nela Märki

Camera

Adrian Stähli

Aurelio Buchwalder

Christian Eisenberger

Hercli Bundi

Sound

Patrick Becker

Mathias Hefel

Hercli Bundi

Music

Daniel Almada

Sound Design

Daniel Almada

Dominik Avenwedde

Nela Märki

Producer

Peter Zwierko

Associate Producer

Hercli Bundi

Vadim Jendreyko

Marketing & Outreach

Susanne Guggenberger

Online, DCP, Grading

Andromeda Film

Patrick Lindenmaier

Tonmischung

Daniel Almada

Mischung

Dominik Avenwedde

In coproduction with

SRF - Schweizer Radio und Fernsehen

Editor SRF

Urs Augstburger

Denise Chervet

With financial support of

Bundesamt für Kultur

Fachausschuss Film und Medienkunst BS/BL

Zürcher Filmstiftung

Kulturfonds Suissimage

UBS Kulturstiftung

Kulturförderung Kanton Graubünden

Fondation Suisa