László Moholy-Nagy 1895-1946
Ein Lichtspiel schwarz weiss grau (1930)
1930 / b&w / silent / 1S / 5' 30
Superpositions of metal objects and shadows. Shadows reappearing, suddenly the shadow of a balloon, with a halo of raw light, playing on the shadow of the anterior light. The light accessory revolves around itself, we can see it from the top, from the bottom, from the front and from behind. In slow motion, accelerated, reversed. A mass of details. A carved wooden ball rolls from left to right. From right to left. Non- stop. Positive and negative images, a glare, prisms which come apart constantly. Movements, strange grids which move. Filters « drunk », bars.Glance cast by little openings ; automatic diaphragms. Light flashes, moving, blinding. Whirling spirals, which always return. All solid shapes dissolve into light.
In 1927, four years after he joined the faculty of the Bauhaus school in Weimar Germany, Moholy-Nagy published Malerei, Fotografie, Film (Painting, Photography, Film). In this influential book—part of a series he coedited with Walter Gropius, director of the Bauhaus—he asserted that photography and cinema had heralded a "culture of light" that had overtaken the most innovative aspects of painting. Moholy-Nagy extolled photography—and film, by extension—as the quintessential medium of the future. His interest in the movement of objects and light through space led him to construct Light Prop for an Electric Stage (Light-Space Modulator). This object is the subject of Ein Lichtspiel: schwarz weiss grau (A Lightplay: Black White Gray), Moholy-Nagy's only abstract film, which synthesizes his attempts to visualize the act of seeing from multiple viewpoints.