Temenos archive and projection site
Starting in the early 1970s, when I helped Gregory Markopoulos (1928-1992) to create a monographic archive, it was with the wish to preserve and document our films in a context of our own choice. Earlier experiences with the existing film archives and distribution encouraged us to take this into our own hands. For two decades, Temenos Archive existed in a bank vault in Bern then in Basle, while the vision was directed towards a projection space at the Temenos site in Arcadia, Greece and a permanent archival space, wherever it would be possible. It was in this spirit that Gregory Markopoulos created his final work, ENIAIOS. Intended for the site in Greece, it was edited but left unprinted due to lack of funds at the time of his death in 1992.
In the mid-90s, Thomas & Ruedi Bechtler offered a space for the Archive first in Zurich then in Uster (ZH), and the architect, Daniel Schedler, kindly donated the design and organized the renovation. It contains a temperature and humidity-controlled area for the films and a room, where film scholars can work with the film and editing notebooks, essays and poetry, journals and letters, and the 150 volumes of printed documentation. We also have portable 16mm projection on site.
The filmmakers’ isolation has been modified. Generosity is now the catalyst. Related to this is the group of filmmakers and friends, who have assisted me in restoring the hundreds of thousands of film splices in the original 16mm films of ENIAIOS:
Felix Schwyzer, Lucy Parker, Ian R Wooldridge, James Edmonds, Silvia das Fadas, Nina Zabicka, Alexandre Favre, Yulia Mukha, Alix Blevins, Melina Pafundi, Josef Grassl, Eva Claus, Fintan Fleischhacker, Christian Flemm… Cinema Arts Inc. has continued to produce the necessary internegatives and projection copy until now.
In addition to the restoration of Eniaios and its projection at the Temenos site near Lyssarea, Greece, we are making new projection copies of the entire collection of films in Temenos Archive and will project them with partner institutions and in other Temenos events. Our goal is to encourage the best possible projection in 16 mm and to support the use of analogue film in all of its formats – in production, preservation and projection. This does not exclude all uses of digital, but it prioritizes our original medium of photo-chemical film.
Drawing on my experience of the New American Cinema in the 1960s, and the early Temenos presentations in the 1980s then a later encounter with the filmmakers of FilmSamstag (1997 – 2007), I see a necessary connection between freedom and economy. The goal has always been to create an event in harmony with the films wherever it is possible.