On September 1, the new film Why are we creative: The centipede's dilemma by Hermann Vaske, perhaps Archive's most enduring collaborator, had its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival. Artist Marina Abramovic and activist Masha Alyokhina from Pussy Riot came to Venice to support the launch.
In Why are we creative? Hermann Vaske dives deep into the topic of creativity. As part of a personal quest, for over 30 years director Herman Vaske has filmed som of the world’s most intriguing artists and thinkers, including over 50 stars in their field, among them Academy Award and Nobel Prize winners, from the fields of visual art, music, acting, philosophy, politics, business and science, replying to the question: “Why are you creative?” (Older readers may remember the print campaign that we used as house ads for our magazine in the early days of Archive.)
Vaske’s subjects in the new film include: David Bowie, Ai Weiwei, Björk, Wim Wenders, Philippe Starck, Yoko Ono, David Lynch, Yohji Yamamoto, Damien Hirst, Angelina Jolie, Nobuyoshi Araki, Quentin Tarantino, Bono, Nick Cave, Neo Rauch, Stephen Hawking, the Dalai Lama, Peter Ustinov, Marina Abramovic, Diane Kruger, Julian Schnabel, John Cleese, Jimmy Page, Vivienne Westwood, Takeshi Kitano and many others.
The film maker held conversations with all these luminaries about what drives them to bring their ideas from the abstract to the material. God, sex, money, fear, compulsion, childhood, or the wish to leave a stain on the wall? He questions their motives and their creative stimuli querying all those who bring something into being that didn’t previously exist: Why Are You Creative? The question guided Vaske on to an odyssey on which he met some of the most influential people of the late 20th and early 21st century. They became the navigators on his journey into the terra incognita of inspiration while he dived deeper and deeper into the multiverse of creativity.
Why are we creative? Is it in our blood? Do we do it to achieve some kind of immortality? Is it a reckless compulsion? Or are we simply doing it to make a buck? The answers Vaske received have been as varied and intriguing as his respondents. Why are we creative? became a vibrant celebration of what makes us most human, most fulfilled.
The film takes us on a journey from the suites of the Carlton in Cannes to the beaches of Santa Monica; from the deserts of New Mexico to the Karaoke bars of Tokyo; from the penthouses of New York to the dungeons of Berlin; from the design studios of Paris to the canals of Amsterdam; from the back of limousines in New Jersey to the modern art museums of Germany; from the photo studios of Milan to the snow covered mountains of Davos.
Hermann Vaske: "I'm obsessed by my curiosity. If you ask me what I really want, I say surprise me, please surprise me. Creativity means bringing together two things that have nothing to do with each other and form a third. One plus one equals three - that is my credo. “Why are you creative?” is my motto. A simple question that brought me into contact with some of the most influential creatives of our time and changed the way I see the world."
Giorgio Gosetti, the director of the Giornate Degli Autori section of the Venice Film Festival concluded: Why Are We Creative? is more than a film"
At the same time, for the 30th anniversary of the project, the "Why Are You Creative?" collection is shown at the Museum for Communication in Frankfurt until November 4.This collections consists of over 1,000 framed artworks and artifacts as well as over 1.000 filmed conversations with creative people from the various creative disciplines.
Vaske: "It was a huge challenge to combine all these different elements from different decades for Why are we creatuve? Digi-Beta, Beta SP, HD-Cam, Mini-DC, 8mm, 16mm, 35mm, 2k and 4k et ecetera, et cetera. The glue that keeps the film together is the editing by Marie-Charlotte Moreau, the animations by Valérie Pirson, which illustrate not only my personal journey, but the words of wisdom of the great creatives, and of course the music by my long-time collaborator Blixa Bargeld and Teho Teardo, who also did the soundtrack for Sorrentino's Il divo.
Also: "When we were in Venice and saw how it all came together, it was an incredible high and an encouragement to move on. I talked to Marina Abramovic in Venice about my next project Why are we not creative? Marina was intrigued and encouraged me to move on. Especially today, "Why Are We Not Creative?" is a very relevant question to ask. A dialectical synthesis of the opposite. What are the promoters and what are the beta blockers of creativity? Only both of those routes together lead us to a conclusion."
Masha Alyokhina (Pussy Riot), Hermann Vaske and Marina Abramovic at the premiere of Vaske's "Why are we creative?" at the Venice Film Festival.