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BILDWERDEN

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by Christiana Perschon

grade: 7.5

Bildwerden shows us how everything is transformed over time. Bildwerden is art, beauty, harmony. A true declaration of love to the art world, but also a celebration of the process of creation itself. A sincere and passionate homage to Isolde Maria Joham and her lively and colourful works. At the Viennale 2022.

Isolde’s colours

When we grow old, we can no longer make the same gestures that used to be made naturally. Even when it comes to creating an artwork. Yet the passing of time does not always mean that it is impossible to create something precious, something destined to last, something that, in a new, unexpected form, can give us even moments of pure beauty. Director Christiana Perschon knows something about this. In her short film Bildwerden, which premiered in Austria on the occasion of the Viennale 2022, she showed us how an artwork can be created even when one no longer has the energy to bring it to life.

The Austrian painter Isolde Maria Joham – who died on October 9, 2022 at the age of 90 – painted numerous, colourful pictures during her lifetime, many of them quite large. For this reason, there was an iron ladder in her studio, which enabled her to reach even the most inaccessible parts of the canvas. At the age of ninety, therefore, she no longer had the agility she once had and it was practically impossible for her to paint. What to do, then? Simple: the time had come to create not one, but many new artworks in which the painter herself is the absolute protagonist.

The iron ladder is very heavy. Isolde struggles to move it. Slowly she climbs the steps and poses in front of one of her paintings. Then in front of another and another. In Bildwerden many new paintings come to life on screen thanks to the charismatic presence of Isolde Joham and the gaze of Christiana Perschon. The process of creating an artwork is immediately enhanced by her camera through a few simple shots. The camera is constantly static. No filter is needed to witness what happens before it.

Bildwerden shows us how everything is transformed over time. Bildwerden is art, beauty, harmony. A true declaration of love to the art world, but also a celebration of the process of creation itself. A sincere and passionate homage to Isolde Maria Joham and her lively and colourful works. Once again, Christiana Perschon has focused her attention on important female artists of the past who also in the present devote their every day to creating artworks. And so, immediately, we are reminded of the short film Sekundenarbeiten (2021), in which we were shown the work of artist Liselott Berschorner and which was also presented at the Viennale.

Although the two works differ greatly in their visual impact and style (shot on film and totally in black and white Sekundenarbeiten, colourful and much more essential Bildwerden), in essence they are meant to show us two realities that have much more in common than may initially seem and in their refined simplicity make the two important artists definitively immortal.

Original title: Bildwerden
Directed by: Christiana Perschon
Country/year: Austria / 2022
Running time: 10’
Genre: documentary
Screenplay: Christiana Perschon
Cinematography: Christiana Perschon
Produced by: Christiana Perschon

Info: the page of Bildwerden on the website of the Viennale; the page of Bildwerden on the website of Christiana Perschon; the page of Bildwerden on the website of the sixpackfilm