Ephemeral Spaces and Pneumatic Architecture: The Films of Nikolaus Geyrhalter – New German Critique – article

Ephemeral Spaces and Pneumatic Architecture: The Films of Nikolaus Geyrhalter

Fatima Naqvi | New German Critique

2019-10-24

The Austrian director Nikolaus Geyrhalter’s films consistently thematize linear perspective as a mode of thought. His documentaries use one-point perspective to draw attention to a scientific habitus, with its studied neutrality and foregrounded objectivity. His “partitive images” home in on the fleeting relation of part to whole, revealing the difficulty of understanding large concepts such as the West or the human species through such supposedly objective images. This article also discusses the connection between Geyrhalter’s photographic mode and sophisticated technological processes. It looks at architecture as an organizing element in relation to Bernd Becher and Hilla Becher’s nomadic typologies and the pneumatic architecture of the 1960s and 1970s, with special attention to the films Unser täglich Brot (Our Daily Bread, 2005), Abendland (Occident, 2011), and Homo Sapiens (2016)

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