During the 1940s and 1950s, the Affichistes appear in Paris with a new and revolutionary artistic format: the tearing down of posters. Ever more present within the cityscape, they assimilate this expanding advertising medium and its particular aesthetics, and formulate from these looted, random images a radical contradiction to the dominant abstract painting of the postwar period. On the one hand, they are interested in the act of violent appropriation of imagery from the public sphere, on the other hand, they celebrate randomness and show a particular interest in language and typography. However, in their action, they see themselves no longer committed to an avant-garde agitprop self-concept, but aim at the visual complexity of contemporary modern means of expression that were eventually picked up on by pop art and, to this day, remain relevant despite all electronic mediality. Book and exhibition provide a comprehensive look at activities spanning two decades (1948-1968) by this important post-war avant-garde that occurred in particular in France, and extend the spectrum by looking at the photographic, cinematic and auditory works of the main protagonists, among them Raymond Hains, Jacques Villeglé, François Dufrêne, Mimmo Rotella, and Wolf Vostell. It also highlights their further specific background, for instance, in décollage, action or happening. Quite surprisingly, many of the works still today appear fresh and radiant. Texts (German/English) by Bernard Blistène, Fritz Emslander, Esther Schlicht, Didier Semin, Dominique Stella and an interview by Roland Wetzel with Jacques Villeglé, original texts by François Dufrêne, Raymond Hains, Mimmo Rotella, Jacques Villeglé, Wolf Vostell and a chronology of the years 1944–1968

ZELLULOID is dedicated to a particular genre of artistic film, in which the image is generated directly, by physically processing the film strip. Unlike other forms of experimental film, the film material is interpreted as if it were a canvas by using a diverse range of artistic processes: through painting, drawing, collage on the celluloid, scores and scratches in the photographic emulsion, chemical manipulation or the direct lighting of photo-sensitive media. Such were the origins of the cinematic avant-garde, which researches even the material nature of the medium of film and at the same time sounds out its relationship with the visual arts and also with music in ever-changing approaches. The exhibition catalogue contains outstanding examples of “films without a camera” and features approximately 20 international artists and filmmakers from the 1930s to the present day. Artists among others Stan Brakhage, Tony Conrad, Cécile Fontaine, Amy Granat, Hy Hirsch, Takahiko Iimura, Norman McLaren, Bärbel Neubauer, Len Lye, Luis Recoder, Jennifer Reeves, Schmelzdahin, José Antonio Sistiaga, Harry Smith, Aldo Tambellini and Jennifer West