Andris Grīnbergs

Pašportrets

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Annotation

Pašportrets/Self-Portrait, a 1972 short film by Latvian body and performance artist Andris Grinbergs, is both a singular artifact of Cold War-era Soviet dissident culture and an addition to first-person quasi-documentary cinema's experimental vein. Hailed by filmmaker-critic Jonas Mekas as ‘one of the five most sexually transgressive films ever made,’ Pašportrets is a selfie avant la lettre and a prototypical sex tape – important medium-specificity considerations aside – though its greater historical significance may reside in the fact that it was essentially social media deprived of social circulation. It shares similarities, both in editing style and visual content, with certain films of the so-called American underground, Western European auteurs and various East European New Waves, although Pašportrets lacked their access to audiences. This predicament beset a cycle of contemporaneous, self-portrait works by members of Birojs (Office), a small collective of Latvian artists that included Grinbergs. Narrowly escaping confiscation by the Komitet gosudarstvennoy bezopasnosti (KGB) shortly after its completion, Pašportrets remained hidden until 1994–1995, when it was restored and premiered at Anthology Film Archives in New York City.

Year

Duration

 

Studio

 

Author

Colour

Format

Sound

Fund

1972

 

00:23:46

-

Grīnbergs Andris

Black & White

16 mm

yes

Zuzans art collection