Made in New York


1974, 00:25:14, PAL, color, sound, H016 02

K.H. Hödicke is a proponent of New Figuration and famous above all for his painting. In the 1960s he produced his first multiples, process-oriented sculptures, and object art and founded the legendary Selbsthilfegalerie (DYI gallery) Grossgörschen 35 in Berlin. Many of Hödicke’s experimental short films were produced during his stay in New York from 1966 to 1967 and reflect his experiences in that metropolis. These 16 mm films can be read like brief conceptual portraits of a frozen reality. They not only analyze the present but also call into question the likeness as such, whether painted or photographed. Hödicke experimented with sound, with the body, with processes of decay, and with art history. He focused on the performative experiment. By contrast, the cinematic essay Made in New York follows a narrative structure. This coproduction with the filmmakers Cornelia Balcerowiak and Helmut Wietz was shot in New York in 1974. Complex diagrams tell the story of an alligator hunter, and how baby alligators are imported, grow up, and “animate” New York’s sewer system. As soon as they grow up, they are “disposed of” by flushing them down the toilet. A walk in the streets of New York among steaming manhole covers is followed at the end by an unsuccessful underground alligator hunt, connected with the question of the story’s truthfulness. The film is an allegory of the New York underground and is mixed with allusions to Hollywood cinema and features a soundtrack of Latino pop.