Documentary on the life and work of Gustav Metzger, the founder of auto-destructive art.
`Auto-destructive art re-enacts the obsession with destruction, the pummelling to which individuals and masses are subjected.' [Gustav Metzger, from Manifesto Auto-Destructive Art, London 1960.].
`The scale of Gustav Metzger's achievements and his contribution to contemporary culture are clearly demonstrated in Ken McMullen's comprehensive film. Gustav Metzger speaks candidly and brilliantly of the influences which have shaped both his own work and the culture of our time. From Freud to Vermeer, from the importance of drawing to a far-reaching discussion of auto-destructive art, Metzger gives profound and lucid insights into the meaning and relevance of art, as well as highlighting the importance of understanding the destructive impulses in human society.
Gustav Metzger witnessed the rise of Nazism as a small child in Nürnberg in the early 1930s. He escaped to Great Britain aged thirteen and trained as a cabinet-maker and an artist before founding auto-destructive art in 1959 which has influenced a generation of younger artists from The Who to the artist and writer Stewart Home.
Fusing art with politics and social activism, Metzger was a co-founder with Bertrand Russell of the Committee of 100, he convened the now legendary Destruction in Art Symposium in 1966, and proposed the first Art Strike in 1974.' [Arts Council website].