“Stadt in Flammen is the most volcanic film I’ve ever seen; the emulsion literally crawls off the film base, like a lava flowing across terrain.” – – Owen O’ Toole 1989

From 1975-1989, the artists Jochen Lempert, Jochen Müller and Jürgen Reble collaborated in Bonn, Germany under the group name Schmelzdahin, making dozen of films and expanded cinema performances. Their name—translated to English as “Melting Away”—literally describes the root of their process. They would subject found film footage to all manner of chemical and biological de-compositional techniques. They would destroy images through burning them, adding acids and bleaches and even burying film in the earth for extended periods of time. Although these practices are more common now amongst process-based filmmakers, when Schmelzdahin first performed them, they were revolutionary. This program brings together four films by the collective and one film made by Jürgen Reble shortly after the group itself melted away.

Curated by Chris Kennedy

Co-presented by the Goethe-Institut Toronto


Schmelzdahin — Stadt in Flammen
1984 / Super 8 / 5:00 / Germany

Schmelzdahin — Aus Den Algen
1986 / Super 8  / 9:00 / Germany

Schmelzdahin — Schildmeyer Darlaten
1988 / Super 8  / 10:00 / Germany

Schmelzdahin — 15 Tage Fieber
1989 / Super 8  / 15:00 / Germany

Jurgen Reble — Rumpelstilzchen
1989 / Super 8  / 14:00 / Germany