Hans Richter: Everything Turns – Everything Revolves

2012     (1 x 60 min.)     Color, B/W: HD     English

A Hudson West Production

Dave Davidson

In cooperation with the LA County Museum of Art, Pompidou Metz and Martin Gropius Bau/Berlin and their 2013/2014 Richter retrospectives

A Dadaist, pioneering painter and filmmaker, radical provocateur and visionary educator, Hans Richter was a major force in redefining art in the twentieth century. Yet, 25 years after his death, Hans Richter remains misunderstood and undervalued for his contributions to creating a new social art that forever changed the act of self-expression. His detractors maintained that he was simply a witness to history, or worse a person who traded on the names of his better-known friends – Duchamp, Eisenstein, Leger, Ray, Ernst, and Calder – to further his own. HANS RICHTER: Everything Turns – Everything Revolves presents Hans Richter as a nuanced, committed, visionary artist who transcended the notion of the “great man” theory and, from his Dada roots to his later work, was a galvanizing force in creating a communal art with great social significance.

The young Hans Richter was at the center of a generation of fiercely creative minds rebelling against the European aristocracy during World War I. During the turbulent years between the wars, Richter collaborated with luminaries such as Sergei Eisenstein and Mies van der Rohe while making his own seminal experimental films including Rhythmus 21, Filmstudie, Everything Turns-Everything Revolves, Ghosts Before Breakfast and Inflation. Richter’s radical political ideas and passion for the Avant Garde resulted in his exile from Germany, labeled as a ‘degenerate artist’ by the Nazis.

In 1940, on the eve of his arrest by police in Switzerland, Richter escapes from Europe, arriving in New York with little money and a limited command of English. He soon secures a teaching position at the newly formed Institute of Film Techniques at The City College of New York. For the next 17 years, Richter became an influential figure to generations of American filmmakers, opening their eyes to documentary, experimental and European films the likes of which his working class students from New York City had never seen. He inspired filmmakers such as Woody Allen and Stanley Kubrick – who despite going on to careers in mainstream cinema – nonetheless illustrate Richter’s lasting imprint.

Companion transmedia project:
RESCORING RICHTER consists of teaching modules exploring the creative process of contemporary composer/performers as they record new scores for Hans Richter’s avant-garde films from the 1920′s.