Milena Gierke

Milena Gierke

Milena Gierke works with super 8 Film. All films are edited in the camera that means no editing after development, and are all without sound. Studies at the Frankfurt Hochschule für Bildende Künste, Städelschule, in Peter Kubelka\’s class “Film + Kochen” (film + cooking) In 1994 she studied at The Cooper Union in New York. Other teachers have been representatives of the US film avant-garde such as Ken Jacobs or Robert Breer. Jonas Mekas has greatly inspired Milena Gierke in her diary films. In 1995 he screened a three-hour retrospective of her work at Anthology Film Archive. Since 2001 she has been a member of the curatorial group \”Filmsamstag\” at the Filmkunsthaus Babylon, Berlin. Milena Gierke projects her films inside the screening room itself. The sound of the running projector becomes its own rhythm, becomes the musical accompaniment. Each of the programs that she puts together takes into account the architectonic occurrences of the place, which are created by the space and the audience. She shows her work not only in cinemas, but also in galleries and other places of interest to her.


About my films

What interests me about making films is the inherent possibility of observing reality through the camera‘s lens, using technical means to capture my personal perspective. I am stronlgy attracted to the unique visual qualities of everyday existence, and my films are my means of drawing attention to that which fascinates me. Some of this is perceptible only by looking through the camera, and invisible to the naked eye.
Much of my work consists of special moments captured on film, which retain a special feeling. My diary films and self-portraits on Super 8 exist in variations, each focussing on different aspects of an idea or film technique. The length of the films varies widely, and they are usually without a soundtrack. I only use sound when I deem it to be necessary and do not simply reproduce the sounds that belong to certain setting.
I use Super 8 film because it is film material. All of my films are edited in the camera, in the process of deliberately deciding to shoot something, and I do not edit after the fact. Working in as concentrated a manner as possible, composing in ‘real time’ as something is happening.
This is why the situation in which the films are screened is of such importance to me: they require a dark and quiet space, so that one can fully concentrate on the film. I usually project the films myself at screenings.
The sound of the projector is part and parcel of the screening situation, its rhythm becomes the accompanying music.

© Photography: Ulla A. Wyrwoll

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