Metamorphoses I

(Metamorphosen I)

GDR, 1979, 7 min, color/b&w
No dialogue


For the multimedia exhibition Tangenten I (Tangents I), Dammbeck and co-organizer, sculptor and painter Frieder Heinze had planned to collaborate on a film that would combine non-camera animation with 35mm footage of a train ride between the two Dresden districts of Radebeul and Pieschen. When the exhibition was banned in 1978, Heinze turned to other projects, but Dammbeck continued working on the film by himself. Metamorphoses I—the first experimental film ever to be shown publicly in East Germany—marks the filmic beginning of Dammbeck’s long-term art project the Herakles-Konzept (Hercules Concept).



2020 Retrospective Female Directors in East Germany, Filmfest Dresden, Germany
2018 Culture in the Cold War: East German Art, Music and Film retrospective Amherst, USA
1978 Die Möwe Arstists’ Club, Berlin, East Germany


Press comments

“Real images of an S-Bahn ride are overlayered with changing and vanishing drawings. Two symbols that are also included in other Dammbeck films appear: the bird, a symbol of freedom, and the eye, a symbol of surveillance—two characteristic themes in the art of the GDR, which was Dammbeck’s homeland until 1986.”  —

“The film is one of the very first examples, and thus without models, of independent filmmaking in the GDR. Concurrently, the film marks an important break in the director’s filmography.”  —Claus Löser, Die Trickfabrik



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