Ken McMullen - Metzger (2004)

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The first ever documentary on the life and work of Gustav Metzger, founder of Auto Destructive Art one of the most pivotal cultural figures of the past forty years. The Scale of Gustav Metzger's achievements and his contribution to contemporary culture are clearly demonstrated in Ken McMullen's extraordinary and comprehensive film. From Freud to Vermeer, from Nazi design to the importance of drawing and the films of Leni Riefenstahl, Gustav Metzger speaks candidly and brilliantly of the influences which have shaped both his own work and the culture of our time. Gustav Metzger witnessed the rise of Nazism as a small child in Nurnberg in the early 1930s. He escaped to Great Britain in 1939 and trained as an artist before founding the auto-destructive art movement in 1959 which has influenced a generation of younger artists including The Who's Pete Townshend. Metzger pioneered the use of computers in art and with his 'Liquid Crystal Light Projections' which were incorporated into the stage shows of Cream and The Who at London's Roundhouse, he defined the visual culture of the psychedelic era.

'Auto-destructive art re-enacts the obsession with destruction, the pummelling to which individuals and masses are subjected.' Gustav Metzger, from MANIFESTO AUTO-DESTRUCTIVE ART, London 1960.

The scale of Gustav Metzger's achievements and his contribution to contemporary culture are clearly demonstrated in Ken McMullen's comprehensive film. Gustav Metzger speaks candidly and brilliantly of the influences which have shaped both his own work and the culture of our time. From Freud to Vermeer, from Nazi design to the importance of drawing and a far-reaching discussion of auto-destructive art, Gustav Metzger gives profound and lucid insights into the meaning and relevance of art, as well as highlighting the importance of understand the destructive impulses in human society.

Gustav Metzger witnessed the rise of Nazism as a small child in Nürnberg in the early 1930s. He escaped to Great Britain aged thirteen and trained as a cabinet-maker and an artist before found auto-destructive art in 1959 which has influenced a generation of younger artists from the The Who's guitarist Pete Townshend to the artist and writer Stewart Home.

Fusing art with politics and social activism, Metzger was a co-founder with Bertrand Russel of the Committee of 100, the anti-war protest group. He convened the now legendary Destruction in Art Symposium in 1969 and proposed the first Art Strike in 1974.

Ken McMullen's Metzger was commisioned by Arts Council England as part of the Pioneers in Art and Science documentary series, and is designed to fully utilise the potential of the DVD format.

Contains 111 minutes of additional features including sections on:

Auto Destructive Art
Freud
Leni Riefenstahl
Vermeer
Artist Emigres
Nazi Design and the rise of Nazism
Gustav Metzger's work and career from 1959 to the present day

Available via Pinnacle Entertainment.
Starring: Gustav Metzger
• Director: Ken McMullen
• Label: The Arts Council England
• Cat number: 2871039
• Format: DVD
• Price: 14.99
• Release Date: 02-08-2004
• Running Time: 139 mins

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