Wolfgang Laib - Here, Now and Far Beyond

"I have great difficulties with art in our art world, where you are supposed to create something different every week. And something new every week. This is the problem of our culture. Repetition and serial work have always been essential for me; I see tremendous potential and power in them." (Wolfgang Laib)

Since his first trips to India in the early 1970s, Eastern philosophies have shaped Wolfgang Laib's life and artistic practice. For Laib, life and work are inseparable. For a long time, the artist, a physician by training, has focussed on selected natural materials such as milk, pollen, rice, or wax. Whether it is his work with pollen that he collects by hand in spring and later sifts out into bright yellow floor-rectangles, or his "milk stones" which require weeks of grinding marble blocks, Laib’s art resists our fast-paced, overstimulated present and the bustle of the art business. Instead, his works take their time and remain integrated into the cycles of nature. Long before the term sustainability entered the general consciousness, Wolfgang Laib chose this path in accordance with his artistic and universalistic convictions; East and West, past and present, nature and art, merge into a unity. In a meditative portrait, the filmmaker observes the artist at work and accompanies him to the astonishingly diverse places where Laib creates his art: his home in Upper Swabia, Tamil Nadu in Southern India, and New York. The camera work not only makes it possible to directly experience the changing seasons and places, through its images and the sensitive film music it also reflects the contemplative beauty that is inherent in Laib's works.

Maria Anna Tappeiner

Maria Anna Tappeiner works as writer/director especially for the cultural channels Arte and 3sat. For television, she has created longer documentaries and artist’s portraits, for example about the female artists of Surrealism, Marc Chagall, Richard Serra, William Kentridge, Nam June Paik. In addition, she makes exhibition films for museums and artistic experimental films outside the format requirements of television. Tappeiner’s films have been awarded international prizes; "Richard Serra - Seeing is Thinking" was a finalist at the International Emmy Awards in New York in 2008.

"My cultural documentaries and artist portraits always start from the work and the artistic attitude. They combine observations of work with conversations about the artists' working methods and explore the background of the creation of the work. Despite or perhaps because of the similar approach, each film is different, due to the different working approaches and artist personalities."