Antoinette Zwirchmayr 1: Inner Longings are Very Close to Your Eyes

For over a decade Antoinette Zwirchmayr has been making analog films that give visual form to the fragile relationships between people, things, nature, and constructed spaces. Her work is scintillating and enigmatic, it encompasses fragmentary image compositions and autobiographical memory narratives, filmic treatments of theoretical texts, and abstract fictional films. Bodies, objects, landscapes, and interiors are condensed in these films into precise arrangements and choreographic patterns of movement. The synergy of materials, colours, surfaces, and textures creates a sensory space of hypnotic beauty that also harbours traces of the obscure and unfathomable.

In her films, Antoinette Zwirchmayr places people and objects in various natural environments in a way that is both incongruous and evocative, resulting in a fascinating confusion of scale, abstraction, and representation. Her work demonstrates an abiding interest in juxtaposing strikingly different kinds of substances – skin and stone, fire and ice, plant and textile – and an extraordinary ability to convey the emotional, mental, and physical frisson that results. She films both bodies and landscapes with such an attention to detail and texture that the bodies are transformed into landscapes, and vice versa. This is the case not only in the highly condensed, meditative fictions, but also in the personal essay films that explore the remarkable, troubled history of her own family in a singularly elliptical style.

Most of the films in these two programmes are screened on 16 mm and 35 mm.

Antoinette Zwirchmayr will introduce the screenings of her two programmes of films to talk more about her filmmaking.

FRI 27/10, 19:00 SLOTTS


Am Frostigen Atlas presents our current state of environmental chaos in a contained and poetic form, bringing us up to our own industrialised and anthropocentric chapter, desperately without resolution.

Austria 2021 / 16 mm / 6:00 / Director: Antoinette Zwirchmayr


Before the first shot changes to show a new perspective of the body-massif, it becomes clear that it belongs to a female figure, revealed in large fragments shot by shot, creating the impression of a living and breathing Venus of Willendorf, a kind of dormant volcano.

Austria 2012 / 16 mm / 1:50 / Director: Antoinette Zwirchmayr


A terrain of wet pebbles glitters and undulates. Molten lava spurts. Grooves in white, smooth rock recall the material’s own mutability. This world is one of tactile, textured surfaces, brilliantly responsive to light. As solid as these planes and contours may seem in a moment, they are not stable. Stillness masks volatility, and the collapse that is always already present as an imminent possibility. This is ground on the verge.

Austria 2020 / 16 mm / 15:00 / Director: Antoinette Zwirchmayr


A sequence of dreamlike scenes unfolds quietly. Set in an otherworldly layered landscape of rock formations by a pristine mountain spring, an atmosphere of eerie femininity pervades the images. Round, golden objects of unknown origin lie scattered about mysteriously. Somehow they seem connected to or springing from a nearly motionless young woman whose face is hidden behind a voluptuous, almost menacingly grand, mass of hair.

Austria 2016 / 16 mm / 4:00 / Director: Antoinette Zwirchmayr


Three former best friends are brought together in a villa forgotten by time. The filmmaker inserts them, with all their expectations, insecurities, and fears, into twelve scenes, in rooms that emanate the grand splendour of a lost era and the austere abstraction of a black box. Trapped between the wish to project a good image and the wish to open up to the others, the women make no headway and become rigid. However, in the interplay of body and speech, poses and gazes, décor and costumes, this chamber play goes into shimmering motion. The realm of signs and allegories is highly condensed, and the references extend from cinematic melodrama, minimal art, and romantic songs to the theatre of the absurd.

Austria 2022 / 30:00 / Director: Antoinette Zwirchmayr