NEW YORK.- Film Forum is pleased to present a new documentary portrait of one of the worlds leading sculptors: RICHARD SERRA: THINKING ON YOUR FEET, directed by Maria Anna Tappeiner, having its U.S. theatrical premiere Wednesday, August 20. Serras monumental steel sculptures are among the defining works of art of our time. The artist is wonderfully articulate, whether talking about his early paintings, Brancusis influence upon him, the historical context in which his work developed, or the public controversies and even hostility his work has engendered. He elucidates how matter imposes form on form, the unique qualities of steel, and how a space may move simultaneously in two directions with a lexicon that includes gravitational vectors, open and closed volume, tectonics, conical sections and torquing ellipses. The creation of The Matter of Time, a $20 million site-specific installation, commissioned by the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, consisting of several 40 ton plates of steel, highlights this elegant portrait of the art worlds man of steel.
Unlike many visual artists, Richard Serra speaks with great precision about how he conceives his work, how it is manufactured, installed and perceived. He talks movingly of being a first generation American, of the current political zeitgeist (the governments hypocrisy when it comes to culture; the pornography of war), and of the transformation of sculpture from art-on-a-pedestal to some-
thing that interacts with the urban environment in a dynamic, even dangerous way. Serras brusque, matter-of-fact brilliance lights up this film with an intelligence that informs every frame and every inch of steel. On hand is Ernst Fuchs, the artists longtime rigger, gallery owner Alexander von Berswordt, and the composer Philip Glass, a friend and one-time assistant to Serra. The art is well-served by a team of superb cinematographers.
Over the past 10 years German filmmaker/art historian Maria Anna Tappeiner (b. 1968) has also produced portraits of artists William Kentridge, Gary Hill, Matthew Barney and Sophie Calle.
RICHARD SERRA: THINKING ON YOUR FEET (2005, 94 mins.) Directed by Maria Ana Tappeiner. Camera: Jurgen Behrens, Patrik Busam, Tom Kaiser, Holger Russek, Alexander Thorbecke. Produced by Westdeutscher Rundfunk (WDR) in association with ZDF. Germany. In English & German with English subtitles.