Ivan Ladislav Galeta – Obsession: Structuring Time and Space

Ivan Ladislav Galeta from Zagreb is the neo-Platonist among European experimental film directors. Galeta hides a true chamber of wonders behind the clear, mathematically abstract structure of his films and videos, meticulously compiled rhythmically frame for frame, each work likewise presenting an analysis of the film medium. Concealed therein, culled from deep in the medium’s prehistory, are hermetic parallel universes in whose number ranges and symbolic spaces, Galeta’s precisely constructed film compositions find a formalist anchor.

Film is but one of the media in which Ladislav Galeta displays his artistic work. Galeta was also a pioneer in Croatian media art, and in 1977 co-founded Croatia’s first center, the MM-Centar for Film/Video/Multimedia. Until today he works in a multitude of installative and conceptual aesthetic formats – from object art, literary texts, and musical composition through to performance and net art and the Gesamtkunstwerk of a garden.

Ivan Ladislav Galeta’s works, which are gathered on this DVD – each and every one, a gem of a film of compositional precision and rigidity – represent the avant-garde’s expansion of the concept of structural film in fleeing from modernism. The falling sun in “sfaĩra 1985-1895” is, however, also a symbol for the transgression of this term. Galeta’s manic world vessels and Gesamtkunstwerks join a long tradition, a synaesthetic and syncretic tradition, and occupy a special position in the history of avant-garde film. They are celluloid meditations on rows and recourses, symmetry and linearity, algorithmics and rhetorics that can be refilled ad absurdum, carrying forth the long history of a parallel aesthetics.

(Georg Schöllhammer, editor of “springerin Hefte für Gegenwartskunst”)

The DVD contains 6 films plus bonus material.

01  TV Ping Pong: 1976-1978, video, b/w, 2 min
02  Two Times in one Space: 1976/1984, 16mm/35mm, b/w, 12 min
03  sfaĩra 1985-1895: 1984, 16mm/35mm, b/w, silent, 10 min
04  Water Pulu 1869 1896: 1987/1988, 16mm/35mm, color, 9 min
05  WAL(L)ZEN: 1989, 16mm/35mm, color, 6 min
06  PiRâMΐdas 1972-1984: 1984, 16mm/35mm, color, 12 min

Bonus track:  Introduction to “PiRâMΐdas 1972-1984”, drawings

Supported by ERSTE Foundation.