Maria Lassnig Kantate





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Published on Dec 31, 2008

English subtitles:

1992. In 14 Strophen erzählt Maria Lassnig einen Lebensrückblick, begonnen von der Geburt bis zur Gegenwart.
Als Moritatensängerin verkleidet singt sie vom Wochenbett der Mutter, von den Quälereien der Mitschüler in der Klosterschule, von der Untreue der Verehrer und den wichtigsten Stationen ihrer Laufbahn wie Paris und New York, während im Hintergrund die selbstgezeichneten Schauergeschichten ablaufen und mit Selbstironie und Humor in Weisheit enden.
Die Malerin, die ihre Zeichentrickfilme in den 70er Jahren in New York immer ganz alleine machte, hat hier zum ersten Mal im Teamwork gearbeitet.
This whole wide world is full of growing grasses
This whole wide world is full of flowers that grow.
And now I am sitting here, - with dreams of yester-year
I´m thinking of the times of long ago.
A babe-in-arms, I was and hardly born
a great wet tear came splashing on my head.
It was my mother dear, - lying lonely and forlorn
she rocked and hugged me, lonesome in her bed.
My early childhood was a real life-drama,
the pots and pans went flying through the air.
The small child screamed aloud: „Stay alive, dear Mamma!"
The poor child suffered from her parents` war.
I realized from the start, married-life is not made of sugar
a drop of bitterness fell upon my heart.
The good nuns taught me how to read and write
the other children pulled my hair and smiled
I was so slow to learn -- and did not like to fight
because I was such a goody-goody child.
The Gods of Fortune gave me no great Beauty.
But one great talent was bestowed on me.
I drew and painted here, - pictures of people clear
like brother Dürer, Rembrandt, Da Vinci.
My darling mother thought this was not proper:
I should be married with a family.
I threw my arms around her feet, fell to the ground:
A man, a child is not my destiny !
The Art Academy was my destination,
I painted better far than any man.
I believe in Art, in Life -- and all Creation
That Art should make a better World for Man.
The God of Love just did not like my features
though many suitors clamoured for my hand.
Yet they betrayed me all, - those handsome creatures
I packed my bags and left my native land.
Oh Paris, Home of Arts and velvet drapings,
but Love and Art for me was just a sham
I could try Op-Art, Pop-Art or Tachism
but the Art Mafia always called the game.
America, oh land of hope and glory
the land is mighty and her women strong.
They fight for all their rights, - dont say they´re sorry
The Macho Men are stung when they do wrong.
The Lady Minister of the Art Department
was wise and friendly , called me home again.
A woman´s aim is high, - she should reach for the sky
a good professor can start her pupils´ fame.
I´ve scrambled up the peaks and reached the summit
my whole long life just lies beneath my feet.
But I´m still searching for -- the stone of wisdom
Life´s made me cautious, Life still calls the beat.
I´m growing older and my legs seem longer
but now I love the world with all my might.
My feelings poor and soft, my face is stronger,
my television helps me through the night.
I just don´t feel my life as nearly ended
I still go skiing, ride my motor bike.
And each new day that breaks -- brings new dimensions
so Art has kept me young in ways I like.
I know its Art so dear, that keeps me young and clear
Art made me thirsty, now fulfilment´s near.


The Austrian artist Maria Lassnig tells us the story of her life in a ballad with 14 verses, beginning at the beginning -- her birth -- and ending with her life as today (1992):
As the narrator of this ballad and in various costumes, she sings of the different stages of her life, her lonely mother in childbed, the antics of her school-mates, her studies, her loves, the time in Paris and in the United States...
Simultaneously -- in the background -- we see the animated drawings of the scenes of her life. While Maria Lassnig completed her other animation films in New York in the Seventies, mostly working alone; this film was made in team-work.

Size: 35 mm, colour, completed November 1992
Size of Projection 1:1,66 , running time 8 minutes
Techniques: Mask-Trick, drawn or painted animation sequences
Idea, Lyrics, Actress, Vocalist, Animator: MARIA LASSNIG
Camera, Lighting, Sound and Trick-Techniques: PAUL BRAUNSTEINER and JOSEF NERMUTH
Decorations, Props, Make-up: BRIGITTTE BERCHTOLD
Music and Production: (c) HUBERT SIELECKI
Theresiengasse 20/1/15, A-1180 Vienna
Phone: +431 941 38 50, +436991 941 38 50,
www.hubert-sielecki.at, husi@chello.at
Sponsors: Federal Ministry of Education and Arts and „Wiener Städtische Versicherung"
World Premiere: International Film Festival Berlin, February 1993


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