ART | WORK: Six Shorts

GDR, n/a, 143 min, b&w
In German; English subtitles


Throughout his creative life, artist and filmmaker Jürgen Böttcher explored the theme of art and artists. This DVD includes six filmic milestones on this topic.


One of (East) Germany’s most important documentarists, Böttcher created over 40 films with a painter’s eye. His debut film about his art students, Three of Many, was banned until 1988. The prize-winning cinéma verité film Shunters screened at The Museum of Modern Art in New York in 2005. Hermann Glöckner: A Short Visit is the only documentary ever made about this German constructivist artist. Transformation Trilogy is a set of overpainting films (Potter’s Bull, Venus after Giorgione, Woman at the Clavichord) that were the only experimental films ever made at the state-run East German DEFA Film Studios.


This collection includes the following titles:

  • Three of Many (1961)
  • Shunters (1984) 
  • Hermann Glöckner: A Short Visit (1984)
  • Transformation Trilogy (1984)
    • Potter’s Bull
    • Venus after Giorgione
    • Woman at the Clavichord

Press comments

“In the comments made by the people he portrays, workers as well as artists – that is, workers often as artists, and artists always as workers – Böttcher’s films evoke dignity, beauty and happiness.
— Enno Patalas, film historian


“Böttcher's films could be the foundation of a counter-genre.”
— Harun Farocki, filmmaker


“Böttcher’s films are celebrated for their striking visual style and for their remarkable sensitivity.”
The Concise Cinegraph: Encyclopaedia of German Cinema


“[Böttcher's] films are some of the most important works in film history.”
—Rolf Richter, film historian


“[Böttcher] places form against chaos, harmony against destruction, and looks for sense and beauty in a small gesture, instead of pathos.”
—Wilhelm Roth, film historian


Buy the DVDStream
DVD Bonus Features:
  • Turn Subtitles On/Off
  • Biographies & Filmographies
  • "Jürgen Böttcher: A Brief Visit," by German studies scholar Seán Allan
  • "East German Art and Cultural Politics," by art historian April A. Eisman
  • About the DEFA Film Library

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