MICHALIS ARFARAS: THE EXPERIMENTAL MOVIES

Updated: 05-11-2015 12:55

 

Michalis Arfaras, animator, professor and director of the Printmaking Lab at the Athens School of Fine Arts, is one of the first Greek artists who worked on the experimental version of animation. He has produce eight short experimental animated movies by the old handmade way, where thousands of frames of the celluloid have received over his artistic gestures transforming the material in animation.

 

 

01. WOCHENSHAU

Duration: 23’ 37’’

Script, Direction, Production: Michael Arfaras

Sound: The Sluts

Production year: 1982

 

Artistic interventions on film frames of an old Greek newsreels movie...

 

 

02. EINE GESCHICHTE UEBER MENSCHEN

Duration: 3’ 26’’

Script, Direction, Production: Michael Arfaras

Sound: Malte Preuβ, Andreas Hoppe, Michael Arfaras

Production Year: 1989

 

A symbolic representation of cannibalism lies within this animation, in which small and big, thick and thin fish are eating each other. This brief parable of the cruelty that characterizes human social relations is an animation film of shadow theatre aesthetics.

 

 

03. KURZER FILM FUER LANGE STOTTERER

Duration: 2’ 18’’

Script, Direction, Production: Michael Arfaras

Sound: Frank Mazke, Michael Arfaras

Production Year: 1988

 

This is an experimental animation film dedicated to the Dadaist artist and poet Kurt Schwitters. The film rhythm follows the recitation of Schwitters’ poem “Kurzer Film fuer lange Stotterer” (A short Poem for Long Stutterers).

 

 

04. CITY LIFE GRAFITIS

Duration: 8’ 30’’

Script, Direction, Production: Michael Arfaras

Sound: Saint Anne, Michael Arfaras

Production Year: 1986

 

A firework of images and sounds as reflections of urban life in the late 20th century. The work is an experimental editing of a multitude of technical and aesthetic expressions of animation.

 

 

05. ANIMATION HAS NO BORDERS

Duration: 9’ 18’’

Script, Direction: Peter Sweenen

Production: Cilia van Dijk

Sound: De Volharding

Production Year: 1986

 

Thirty-six animators from 36 different countries worked together to illustrate the music of “Internationale” with images designed directly to the film celluloid. This film project is an example of international artistic cooperation in an era, during which many borders were still inaccessible.

 

 

06. TRICKTYCHON Νο 4

Duration: 12’ 13’’

Script, Direction, Production: Michael Arfaras

Sound: Michael Arfaras

Production Year: 2004

Archaic sounds of Christian and Buddhist monasteries create the rhythmic basis of the animation’s choreography. The film is a tribute to the ritual dances of Bauhaus.

 

 

07. KOUKLOTOPOS

Duration: 11’ 47’’

Script, Direction, Production: Michael Arfaras

Sound: Theodoros Vassiliadis, Michael Arfaras

Production Year: 2005

 

A torrent of images, sounds and colours is bursting from the film. Among them, a nightmarish shadow theatre unfolds, the echo of the people’s anguish in big cities.

 

 

08. ΙKARUS NOVUS

Duration: 10’ 32’’

Format: Digital Video / mini dv

Script, Direction, Production: Michael Arfaras

Sound: Theodoros Vassiliadis, Michael Arfaras

Production Year: 2006

 

Icarus, after a series of unsuccessful flights and painful falls, has lost most of its legendary status. With the help of bizarre machines and being almost insane, he is trying to accomplish one last flight. An expected further fall is the result.

 

 

MICHALIS ARFARAS - cv

He was born in Athens (1954). He began his studies at the Athens School of Fine Arts with Yiannis Moralis (1972-1974) and continued at the Staatlische Hochschule für Bildende Künste (Braunschweig, Germany) where he studied printmaking, graphic arts and film animation (1975-1980). After two solo exhibitions in Germany (1978, 1979), he organized his solo exhibition in Greece (Zigos gallery, 1980).

In 1987, he started shooting experimental films in his studio in Hannover. His cinematic projects interact with his visual art creations, in which various printmaking techniques coexist with painting, drawing, collage, video, and other mixed media.

Over the ‘90's, he presented assemblage constructions of miscellaneous objects and materials collected from the garbage, which resembled anthropomorphic idols of an unknown religion. Complicated allusions to old cultures or traditional arts, along with critical comments on issues of modern times can be detected in his entire work. The complexity of the technical devices and the multilevel intellectual processing of the themes, are combined with an almost primitive expressive immediacy.

He worked for many years (1988-2006) as a specialized courses professor (Grafiks) at the Institute of Fine Arts and Art Sciences (Institut für Bildende Kunst und Kunstwissenschaft) of the University of Hildesheim.

Since 2006, he has been appointed head professor of the 2nd Printmaking Workshop at the Athens School of Fine Arts.

He is also involved in art books illustration and editing. His book Printmaking and printed art was published in 2009 by Metaixmio editions, an extensive manual that had been absent until then from art bibliography in Greece.

He often exhibits his work in Greece and abroad, through solo and group exhibitions. He also participates in experimental film festivals and international printmaking biennials. He has been awarded several times for both his films and his visual art creations, e.g. printmaking award of Lower Saxony (1980), AICA award and 1st prize at the Baden-Baden European Biennial of Printmaking (1988), etc.

1975-1980 Studies at the State University College of Fine Arts, Braunschweig (Lower Saxony, Germany).

1980 completed his studies with the title of Meisterschyler.

1980 Award engraving of Lower Saxony.

1980-1983 Assistant Professor in the workshops lithography, rotogravure printing and the same school.

1980-2006 Member of the Association of Visual Artists of Germany and a member of the Filmmakers Association of Lower Saxony.

1988 AICA Award for Europe.

1988-2006 Professor of Special Courses at the Institute of Fine Arts and Science of Art at University Hildesheim (Lower Saxony, Germany).

1990 Member of the Center Engraving Group.

2000 Film Fellowship of the Ministry of Science and Culture

Lower Saxony.

1982/1986 Scholarships Government of Hanover.

2001 Fellowship Sparkassenstiftung for creating and publishing lithographs cutting Quensen.

2006 Professor and Director of the "Printmaking" at the Athens School of Fine Arts.

Since 1990 has presented his work in solo exhibitions in galleries and museums in Europe and Greece. He has participated in all international biennials engraving and experimental film festival.

The writing and editing art books is a continuing concern and experimentation, occupying a considerable part of his creation.




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