mayröcker on hintzes "zettel"

Friederike Mayröcker:
Almost a Messiah
Result of a dialogue between Ernst Jandl and Friederike Mayröcker about the film "ZETTELDÄMMERUNG" :

a film not by Ch. I. Hintze, but about him, his activities namely the distributing of leaflets, made by Alfred Kaiser/
striking for me that H. was received by young people in Germany as an artist who does something very unusual/
it struck me that throughout the entire film reference was made to H. not as a poet or artist but to H. as a distributor of leaflets, and indeed as a man (and in this respect that comes back to the term of artist) who distributes leaflets which a priori do not, and then on closer inspection of these leaflets in no way, make the impression that what he is doing, which is customary after all, is not distributing leaflets for a political movement or for a commercial enterprise, but that these leaflets constitute precisely a personal message, I think that even during the film reference is made that this is an attempt to generate communication, relationships with people, orignating from this one person, H., thus he also meets with artists, authors, poets, who do it a different way /
I even noticed that he was received by the younger ones just like a Messiah – as if an artistic personality of this kind had never before emerged on the scene /
the reference to the messianic element was on the tip of my tongue, I refrained from commenting on it however, as I know that it is not H.’s intention to be regarded as a messiah here, so as the delegate of a divine power, that is surely not what H. has in mind, but the way I see it he, for certain motivating reasons, chose as a very young person this way of taking up communication by means of self-authored texts, and it was indeed many years before this produced anything in the traditional, conventional sense, namely a book and this film, things which were not from the start a part of the intention of the action pursued over years, action is employed here not without reference to actionism, naturally this is acting in the sense of actionism, which was conducted here and in the Federal Republic of Germany and outside of the German-speaking region too, and usually with the success expected of it, completely even, linear and deliberately very restricted acting, with repeatedly new material handed to people in exactly the same way all the time, whilst one can of course say it again, it’s like the distribution of hosts, which some allow to be laid on their tongue and others take in their hands, and in which others do not take part at all /
what I find good about the film is that it does not go into detail about the text material, some leaflet texts are reproduced in the book by H. after all, so they are there on the leaflets – in the book it is even mentioned that the leaflet texts can be ordered – but the film does nothing to make the material recorded on leaflets accessible to the film’s viewers, and that would probably be a very absurd thing, from the filmic viewpoint, but the most striking, the most unusual, thing, which is also best captured on film, is shown, namely this one man, H., who stands facing oncoming crowds of people, at all times of the day, in the widest variety of cities, in the most varied of conditions, who doesn’t even sneak a look back to see how the ladies and gentlemen who have taken these leaflets are reacting /
maybe it’s even a matter of indifference to him, sometimes you could have got the impression it is actually a matter of indifference to him /
I think he knows there are people who look at the leaflets and those who put them in their pocket and throw them away later, and those who throw them away straight away, and those who read them and then go up to him and start talking to him, and these are probably the most important people to him, I think that the film presents this aspect very emphatically, and that it undertakes above all to show this distributor of leaflets in action in the widest variety of situations and in the widest variety of cities /
I was rather sceptical about the title of the film from the start, as this is of course not a Zetteldämmerung – Twilight of the Leaflets - the film could perhaps have been entitled more simply and more in keeping with the subject, Zettelverteilung – leaflet distribution – or, der Zettelverteiler, leaflet distributor, because there is after all no Zetteldämmerung, no upheaval in the sense of a Götterdämmerung, a Twilight of the Gods, which of course is what is necessary called to mind with the choice of this rather pretentious title, I would change the title /
the film is as linear and steady as the activity itself, with change of venue, change of location, apart from certain cut-in scenes that obviously concern the realm of contact of the leaflet distributor himself, get-togethers with friends, perhaps new-found friends, perhaps found through this action, at various locations, but the steadiness of the film is totally in line with the action, and trying to dramatize something here would not be in line with the subject itself, distributing leaflets, as far as I can see it H. never set out to prove his singularity as a poet, but his singularity is based in this action of distributing leaflets, for many years, and so I think that the film does more justice to his wishes than a collection of the texts contained on leaflets, in book form for example, and so to speak as literary products that have stopped having anything to do with the mode of distribution, products that have become detached, even in his book every single leaflet text is identified as such by being printed on a coloured, so grey background, and not merely on the white of the paper /
he always said to me that he is not aiming to publish books, his only concern is communication, that’s why there’s been this leaflet distributing for years, you can of course get into contact with people in such and such a way, he did it in a direct way but dispensing with the machinery, author – publisher, so the apparatus that is between artist and reader, he doesn’t force himself on people it’s true, he doesn’t necessary initiate contact himself either, if he puts a leaflet into somebody’s hand, it’s up to this person to decide whether to react or not /
it doesn’t mean of course that there’s a response straight away, it is largely going without the general echo, because anybody who publishes books is always aiming at a fictive general echo, whereas the general echo is only conditionally, and not always, perceptible, critiques, reviews, or sales figures, I for my part would like to say from my own experience that I couldn’t imagine myself in the role of leaflet distributor now that I have experienced the extraordinary liveliness of contact with the audience to whom I am reading out my things and with whom I discuss my things, the question is, where’s the thing going, where’s the thing got to so far, actually in this case precisely the media – book and film – that H. rejected from the start have got involved, the media he wanted to keep himself away from through his leaflet distributing /
I conclude from the fact that there is a book and a film about H. that he does not reject achieving communication with fellow people by other means. even though leaflet distributing is the basis for everything else /
I really like the camera work and editing, the film is extremely appealing, all the more as it’s succeeded impressively in dealing with a topic that’s difficult to solve in film

(Friederike Mayröcker: Result of a dialogue between Ernst Jandl und Friederike Mayröcker about the film ZETTELDÄMMERUNG. Written in August 1979. Published under the title "Fast ein Messias" in: Neues Forum, Vienna, March / April 1981)