An Argentinean builder who has built council halls, cemetery gates and abattoirs in the pampa as if from a modernist assembly line. Then a Bolivian architect, whose gaudy functional buildings in the highland defy description and imagination. Last, but not least, a new old palace in the middle of Berlin. Connections are plentiful, none of them edifying. Heinz Emigholz uses them for a pamphlet against stylistic amnesia and historical falsification.
The first film in Heinz Emigholz’s series “Photography and beyond” was released in 1983 and, including the two works screened by DOK Leipzig this year in the Camera Lucida section, there are now 35. But although “Slaughterhouses of Modernity” uses a number of sequences from the other two works, it has little in common with them in terms of form and ductus. While the aforementioned rather minimalist films do without commentary and partly without inserts, this one is characterised by its edgy monologues and courageous use of stylistic inconsistencies. Polemics and black humour are not unusual in Emigholz’s universe. But one has never seen him spoiling for a fight as gleefully as in this complex exploration of German history and its ugly manifestations. Not so much a late work as a new departure.