Verdammt In Alle Ewigkeit (From Here to Eternity): A Film Performance with Multi Projections

Birgit and Wilhelm Hein have collaborated on films in Germany since 1966. Together they have been very active in supporting avant-garde film programs, happenings, multi-projections and performances by international artists, not only in their own country but elsewhere in Europe. They have participated in international festivals and art exhibits, including Documenta 5 and 6, Project 74, the “Forum on Avant-Garde Film” at the 1976 Edinburgh Film Festival, and they organized the “Film Als Film” exhibit in Cologne in 1978.

From Here to Eternity is a very recent work combining single, two- and three-screen projection, live action, sound on film, tape and record sound. It is a “show” about different areas of film-reality with art, emotion, sentimentality, triviality, jokes, etc. The sequence of the single pieces is as follows: Set-Up (three-screen, live action); Like Marilyn (three-screen); Stripes (three-screen); Home Movie I: France (blown up super 8mm, single screen); From Here To Eternity (trailer, single screen); Home Movie II (single screen); Ping-Pong (Kurt Kren and Wilhelm Hein, two-screen); The Monsters (live action); The Couple (two-screen); The Big Sleep (record); Whitefilm (three-screen). Describing this work, the Heins have written:

“From Here to Eternity is the first step to overcome a crisis in our work, which lasted for about two years. It resulted from the fact that problems, which have been caused by our work, could no longer be handled in the art work itself.
“That means, on one hand, that the avant-garde problems (i.e. the structural problems) have rendered themselves independent, have become formalistic and reproduce themselves for its own sake; on the other hand, the very existential problems make the ‘pure artistic' problems, as well as the official ritual or art presentation and reception, appear questionable. This has resulted in the feeling that our own work is no longer necessary, that it is finished.
“To be able to continue to work, we had to overcome the narrow borders of the structural problems and to include the actual problems. We had to present our own contradictory situation, which includes the enthusiasm for pure art, as well as its questioning by triviality, emotion and sentimentality. The emotional outburst of our work has nothing to do with the naive uprising of 1967, because it is carried out on the basis and as a reaction to the work of the last ten years. It is unthinkable without this experience.”

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