Sonntag, 31. Juli 2011


Believe it or not, these videos are commercials for Austria's biggest shoe retailer, Humanic, from around 1970. Their advertising director Horst Gerhard Haberl invited artists and poets to make commercials, apparently without any boundaries (e.g. no shoes had to be in the picture). The slogans were reduced to "Humanic passt immer" ("Humanic always fits") and, more importantly, the name "Franz!" (with no particular reason) and often absurd/experimental poetry. The concept was kept alive until the 1990ies, creating an incredible series of clips full of absurdist humour.
The above clips are by artist Roland Goeschl and director Axel Corti who were both involved in the invention of "Franz". The voiceover in the third clip above evokes a dystopian future with environmental pollution and tells the people to gather at "the oxygen simulators our fathers called trees".
Three later examples:


With composer and poet Otto M. Zykan

"Berge brauchen keine Menschen" = "Mountains don't need people" (1994). I guess many Austrians hated this one...

I've learnt about these clips in an exhibition about experiments in television in Germany in the 1960s and 70s that I recently saw at the Kinemathek in Berlin. More posts inpired by that exhibition might follow.

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