Minor Cinema

Experimental Film in Switzerland

A comprehensive theoretical book, ‘Minor Cinema: Experimental Film in Switzerland’ traces the evolution of Swiss experimental film addressing the relationships between contemporary art and underground movies, formal and amateur films, video, expanded cinema, and performances, national scene and international influences, with a special focus on how art schools and festivals were decisive for its development.

As the editors state in the introduction, the aim of this pioneering publication is to look ‘back at the history of experimental film in Switzerland, the cinematic practices that are still considered the core of the avant-garde show, in the brief period from the mid-1960s to early 1970s, the initial signs of a ‘minor’ cinema, which produced exponents of experimental works which, though they have always remained on the margins of writing on the history of film, have never been forgotten entirely and were directly present in various places and times as central figures of a different kind of historical writing.’

By deciphering the fragility and ramifications of historical genealogies and challenging them by modern and scientific approaches, the book proposes an active archeology of Swiss experimental cinema, making visible the main characteristics of its specific history—a history which developed in parallel to the international evolution of marginal cinema, albeit fragmentary, often delayed, and with powerful personal, institutional, and geographic idiosyncrasies. Taking those as methodological starting points for their reflection, the editors describe Swiss experimental film as ‘minor cinema,‘ quoting American scholar Branden W. Joseph.

Published as the 19th volume of the ‘subtexte‘ series, Institute for the Performing Arts and Film (IPF), Zurich University of the Arts (ZHdK).

Part of the JRP | Editions Documents series, co-published with Les presses du réel and dedicated to critical writing.

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