Photograms of 16 & 35 mm film reels printed on baryte paper on aluminum, 50 x 60 cm
This series of filmograms is a project in cooperation with the Filmarchiv Austria (FAA). The film rolls were taken from the FAA Laxenburg and exposed and developed in the laboratory of the former company Synchrofilm.
During two years working in a film lab I was mainly scanning 16 mm and 35 mm footage from various archives. There was no way around doing more of the photograms, which I used to develop years ago (see 43.819 Frames). Most of the prints came from 16 mm reels, A/B neg, black & white pos/neg, color, whatever looked good for this technique. Less homogenous material meant more fun for me!
I soon figured out some specific patterns and signs related to the condition of the film material. Not only old and bad splices, something also starts to grow out of the center of the reel. This THING makes its way from the inside out; it looks like the iris of an eye or a sunbeam going its way. Or the worst option: it’s film cancer. It seems as if the material becomes a higher density and does not allow the light to penetrate it that much. This made me think about using the technique of a photogram as a way to show the present physical state of the reel without winding the film. Especially in the case of very fragile material, it is a possible last chance to take the fingerprint of it. (Thomas Glänzel)
Thomas Glänzel, born 1981 in St. Pölten, Austria, lives and works in Vienna, Austria.