'Cinema seems irrevocably conquered. The phrase ‘35mm’ has itself become a site of resistance – technological, and therefore also political – and in some way the medium was Vertical Cinema’s message: these shorts, projected onto a vertically hung CinemaScope screen, were aurally violent and unceasingly radical departures from narrative cinema. And yet, over the course of its 90 or so minutes – even over the course of one single short – the bedazzling intensity of the audiovisual onslaught acquired a narrative sensibility of its own.'
- Michael Pattison, film critic in Sight & Sound magazine
Vertical Cinema is a series of fourteen commissioned large-scale, site-specific works by internationally renowned experimental filmmakers and audiovisual artists, which are presented on 35 mm celluloid and projected vertically with a custom-built projector in vertical cinemascope. The programme premiered in 2013 and has since been screened at museums and festivals around the globe.
The fourteen experimental films made by Tina Frank (AT), Björn Kämmerer (DE/AT), Manuel Knapp (AT), Johann Lurf (AT), Joost Rekveld (NL), Rosa Menkman (NL), Billy Roisz (AT) & Dieter Kovačič (AT), Makino Takashi (JP) & Telcosystems (NL), Esther Urlus (NL), Martijn van Boven (NL) & Gert-Jan Prins (NL), Susan Schuppli (UK), Lukas Marxt (AT), HC Gilje (NO), BJ Nilsen (SE) & Karl Lemieux (CA) are screened live on a vertical monument. They are a unique blend of abstract cinema, structural experiments, found footage remixes, chemical film explorations and live laser action. The artists offer their view of ‘vertical axis art’, and the results of this challenging commission are fascinating.