Berlinale: Programme

Film file


Loos ornamental

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Loos ornamental presents 28 buildings and spaces by the Austrian architect Adolf Loos (1870-1933) in the order of their construction. With this film, Heinz Emigholz continues his series “Architecture and Autobiography,” in which he portrays famous architects through their constructions, giving cinematic expression to his own experience of space at a particular time. By turning to the work of the architect Adolf Loos, Emigholz inserts between the three dimensionality of the spaces and the two dimensionality of the film the ornamental quality of architecture. And this for an architect who built the house “without eyebrows” in Vienna and who is known for writing the book “Ornament and Crime.” But ornament is not exactly ornament: If we see it as the cross-section view of the inner structure of materials like wood, stone, and marble, then it becomes three dimensional and substantial. Together with other materials like metal and cloth, Loos extended this way of viewing to entire interiors. Heinz Emigholz makes the ornament visible as the cross-section, dependent on the viewpoint. He continues Loos’s homage to ornament by bringing it to the screen in its structural two-dimensionality, thereby explaining the interior spaces. The views from the outside serve to orient our collective memory of images.
Stefanie Schulte Strathaus

Austria / Germany 2008, 72 min


Heinz Emigholz