In memoriam Robert Frank
Robert Frank died on 9 September 2019 in Nova Scotia (Canada), leaving behind a singular oeuvre that is both down-to-earth and erratic, somewhere between experimental film, photography and writing. Already known and successful as a photographer, Robert Frank puts his camera aside for some time in 1959 and says: „I make films. Now I speak to the people who move in myviewfinder. Not simple and not especially successful.“ Thanks to the kind support of the Robert Frank Collection of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, we are able to present a selection of these works.
Robert Frank (R), Stephan Balint (B), BRD 1989, 36 min, OmeU
“This is about a man whose destiny is — not to find a destination. . . . A man who fears that he will never find what his imagination compels him to look for;a mystical traveler going by train and by car through . . . language and landscape.” says Robert Frank about his film, shot in the late summer of 1989 in the Ruhr area, which moves by leaps and bounds between topics such as fascism, music history, prostitution and racism.
Robert Frank, CAN/CH 2002, 23 min, engl. OF
The artist joins Robert MacMillan on a wintry, pre-dawn morning and accompanies him on his daily route delivering newspapers to towns in the rural Nova Scotia community where Frank has had a second home for many years. The camera explores the landscape and McMillan’s encounters with his customers. From behind the lens, Frank conducts a rambling interview inspired by his own desire to better understand how people live their lives.
Harry Smith at the Breslin Hotel 1984
Robert Frank, USA 2017, 11 min, engl. OF
In 1984, upon learning that his friend Harry Smith was being evicted from the Breslin Hotel in New York City, Allen Ginsberg encouraged Robert Frank to document the move on video. Over the course of a week, the eccentric painter, filmmaker, musicologist, anthropologist and mystic Smith presents exemplary objects from his opulent collection to the camera: including art, books, films and field recordings of indigenous music. Only 33 years later, a film will emerge from these video recordings, which will prove to be Robert Frank’s last.
INTRODUCTION: VOLKO KAMENSKY