Die Stunde Null

arte / 52min Documentary by Anna Pflüger und Marcel Kolvenbach

Zero - The Art Movement at the first hour.

Arte - Wednesday, 25 March at 22:40 (53 min.)

Documentary by Anna Pflüger and Marcel Kolvenbach

In 1958, the artists Otto Piene and Heinz Mack laid the foundations for something that will go down in history as one of the greatest avant-garde movements of the 20th century: the art movement ZERO. On the occasion of the major retrospective at the Martin-Gropius-Bau in Berlin from March 21 to June 8, 2015, the documentary traces the ZERO spirit that is felt today.

ZERO called itself an international group of artists of the post-war period. It was founded in 1958 by Heinz Mack and Otto Piene in Düsseldorf and continued until 1966. In addition to the core group around Heinz Mack, Otto Piene and Günther Uecker, another group of international artists from France, Italy, the Netherlands, Belgium and Switzerland emerged.


Otto Piene later was invited to teach at MIT and shaped some of the most futuristic designs and developments in visual arts, technology and media.

The idea of ??an absolute new beginning of art after the Second World War led to a newly gained freedom with regard to materials, colors and forms. The Zero artists were inspired by the monochrome images of Yves Klein, they worked with fire and water, light and smoke and created works of art from nails, aluminum plates, mirrors or glass. With their puristic aesthetics they revolutionized the modern self-understanding of art.

In 1966 the end of the movement was declared, but in the works of current artists like Olafur Elliason, the spirit of ZERO is reflected .

While shooting this film in the summer of 2014 Otto Piene proposed to let three large air sculptures rise above the roof of the New Berlin National Gallery. The filmmakers Anna Pflüger and Marcel Kolvenbach were able to accompany Piene with the execution of the action and recorded a final interview covering his entire artistic biography. Tragically, a few days later the artist died at the age of 86 years, in a taxi in Berlin, just after the opening of his grand retrospective.


This is why this film is dedicated to this amazing artist and personality.