Welcome to Est. 1999, the official blog of Abraham Translations. As is perhaps easy to surmise, the name of this blog reflects the year that Abraham Translations was founded.
It all began with the correction of a few texts that had been translated by another time-pressed translator. Within the year, translating had become my main source of income; now, it has long been the only way I put bacon on the table.
I am rather proud of many of the projects on which I have worked.
Est. 1999, basically, is a visual confirmation of past projects, a blowing of my own horn, a presentation of translator-related topics, and an occasional departure into other areas that I deem worthy of presenting. Enjoy.

Friday, 19 June 2015

Between Insanity & Beauty – The Art Collection of Dr. Prinzhorn (Germany, 2007)

75 min., German title (as you can see by the poster above): Zwischen Wahnsin und Kunst – Die Sammlung Prinzhorn. In 2005, I translated the treatment to this documentary from gebrueder beetz filmproduktion, written and directed by Christian Beetz himself. Release two years later in 2007, the film went on to win a Grimme Award in 2008.
As written in the documentary's press release (which I didn't translate): "The collection created by Dr. Hans Prinzhorn is one of the world's largest collections of artwork by schizophrenic patients. [...] Artists such as Paul Klee, Jean Dubuffet, Alfred Kubin and Max Ernst were highly inspired by the so-called 'insane art'. [...] These masters of modern art were [later] found together with parts of the Prinzhorn Collection in the infamous Degenerate Art exhibition organized by the National Socialists.
Later these pieces of art were forgotten, although many artists, such as Salvador Dali or Pablo Picasso, continued to praise this singular collection; likewise, among the Paris Surrealists, the Prinzhorn publication Bildnerei der Geisteskranken / Artistry of the Mentally Ill (1922) was regarded as a Bible.
The film follows the history of this unique collection and delves past the artwork itself and into the inner-worlds of the schizophrenic patients. But the film does not restrict itself to a mere historical analysis; it is also a step into the present. It accompanies two mentally ill patient-artists and asks the central question of how art and illness are to be defined today."

Above is an example of the fabulous work by Madge Gill, one of the many masters found in the Prinzhorn Collection.

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