The SWR Doku Festival honored a very special artist this year: Ulrike Ottinger. The versatile filmmaker, photographer, and artist was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award for her impressive body of work. Her oeuvre is a fascinating journey through various art forms and cultures, unparalleled in its breadth.

From Painting to Film

Ulrike Ottinger, born in 1942 in Konstanz, began her career as a painter before turning to film in the 1970s. Her works are characterized by an extraordinary visual language that often integrates elements of painting and photography. Ottinger is known for her experimental documentaries and feature films, distinguished by a unique aesthetic and a profound cultural and ethnological perspective.

Opera: Die Eroberung der Glückseligen Inseln, Foto Ulrike Ottinger, 1983 ©Ulrike Ottinger

Ulrike Ottinger, Opera: Die Eroberung der Glückseligen Inseln, 1983 ©Ulrike Ottinger

Masterful Photography in Book Form

In addition to her film art, Ottinger is also an outstanding photographer. Her photographs share a similar aesthetic to her films – rich in detail, colorful, and often with a touch of surrealism. Her works have been exhibited in renowned galleries and museums worldwide and have received numerous awards and recognitions. Several publications make the versatility of Ottinger's artistic expressions tangible: Cosmos Ottinger highlights the interdisciplinary nature of her work, showing how she combines visual and thematic elements into unique narratives. In Zusammenspiel, Ottinger explores the dynamics between different art forms and cultures, reflecting on the inspiring power of collaboration and interdisciplinary interaction. Her autobiographical work Paris Calligrammes takes the reader on a journey through her time in 1960s Paris, where artistic and intellectual discoveries shaped her perspectives. This book combines personal memories with historical and cultural reflections.

Exclusive Collectors Edition at Hatje Cantz

A limited edition by Ulrike Ottinger is also available. Here she portrays the dazzling actress Tabea Blumenschein in the mirror of a nightclub dressing room.

Ulrike Ottinger Aus der Spiegelserie: Straußenfeder (Tabea Blumenschein), ca. 1974/2022, Berlin

The Jury Highlights Ulrike Ottinger's "Visual Power"

The awarding of the Lifetime Achievement Award by the SWR Doku Festival is a further recognition of her extraordinary career. The reasoning for the award states that Ottinger has created a distinctive cinematic oeuvre through her "visual power and poetic visual language, which transcends boundaries and opens up new perspectives." These words aptly summarize what defines Ottinger's work: a constant challenge and expansion of the understanding of art and culture.

Header image: Ulrike Ottinger by Beat Presser Studio © Beat Presser

Veröffentlicht am: 20.06.2024