Roloff, Stefan


Stefan Roloff, born in 1953 in Berlin, has worked as a painter, video artist and filmmaker. A pioneer of digital video and photography, in 1983 Roloff founded his own production company, When 6 is 9. He shares his time between New York and Berlin.


In 1984, Roloff was invited to experiment on prototypes of digital video and imaging computers at the New York Institute of Technology. Here, he created Face—his first Moving Painting, produced by Peter Gabriel—which was the predecessor of Gabriel’s award-winning music video for Sledgehammer (1986). He also created the music video to Peter Gabriel’s song ZAAR, from the record Passion.


Roloff received a Fellowship from the New York Foundation for the Arts for his digital work in 1989. He continues to combine his paintings and videos in collaboration with musicians like Martin Rev, Jim O’Rourke and Andrew Cyrille.


Roloff has also produced and directed numerous videos and documentary films. Each film is accompanied by an art installation, providing a three-dimensional space that the viewers can enter for a direct experience of the subject matter. His video installations and films have been shown worldwide, including in Brazil, France, Japan, Spain and USA.


Roloff's documentary, The Red Orchestra, is a portrait of his late father, Helmut Roloff, an anti-Nazi resistance fighter. It was nominated for Best Foreign Film 2005 by the US Women Critics Circle.


Roloff is currently working on his first feature film project, Café Holland, in collaboration with a former GDR dissident. Based on a true story, this is a film about a woman who revolts against the GDR and faces the retribution of the Stasi. Since 2008, Roloff has produced over sixty interviews in preparation of this feature film project, and will make them public in an online archive about resistance, daily life and underground culture in East Germany. [See also:]



Bibliography & More:

Die Katakombengesellschaft [trans. The Catacombe Society], Satzweiss. 2011. [e-book]


Die Rote Kapelle: Die Widerstandsgruppe im Dritten Reich und die Geschichte von Helmut Roloff [trans. The Red Orchestra: The Resistance Group in the Third Reich and the Story of Helmut Roloff]. Ullstein. 2002.




2011 The Silence (Das Schweigen, video projection)
2010 Lindenhotel (video installation)
2009 Let There be Light (video installation)
2008 Katja and Lisa’s Escape -1942 (video)
2008 Trying to Hide Strelow - 1942 (video)
2007 Memory Breakdown (trailer)
2004 The Red Orchestra (Die Rote Kapelle, documentary)
1999 Seeds (documentary)
1997 Mirage (video)
1995 The Year of the Stone (documentary)
1993 Meditation in the Roaring Twenties (video)
1992 What's Going On? (video)
1992 The Visit (video) 
1989 Dominic Christ (music video) 
1989 Surrender (music video)
1989 ZAAR (music video)
1989 Fireball (video / video installation)
1989 Still Life (video / video installation) 
1987 Lunch (video) 
1987 Life and Death of Ludwig van Beethoven (Leben und Tod von Ludwig van Beethoven, short film) 
1987 The Room Mate (short film)
1985 Big Fire (video / video installation) 
1984 The Face (video / video installation)
1980 Fopo Fever (video) 
1978 The Fat One (Die Dicke, short film)

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