I. Immendorff - Cinema Version
He is one of Germany’s most important artists, a man who has spent his life intervening, provoking, polarizing. No other contemporary artist has succeeded in capturing the German psychic landscape on canvas more arrestingly than Düsseldorf painter Jörg Immendorff. He has worked without pause, a driven man, devoting all of his strength to his work and his creative life. Then suddenly, in 1998, everything changed. A fatal illness had crept into his body. Jörg Immendorff’s painting hand, his left, became paralyzed during vacation. His general practitioner sent him to a neurologist, whose diagnosis was devastating: Immendorff had become a victim of the rare Lou Gehrig’s Disease (ALS), which leads to paralysis of the musculature, and finally to an inexorable death by suffocation. At that time, the specialist gave him just two years to live, but Immendorff is still very much alive. He is a fighter – even against the enemy that lives inside his own body. For two years now, Immendorff has been unable to move his arm, and has even become confined to a wheelchair. He has become the ‘conductor’ of his own works, assisted by the young art students who execute his paintings for him. Yet he is in demand as never before, with one exhibition after the next. And he continues to discharge his duties as professor at Düsseldorf’s Art Academy with the same incorrigible passion as before. Recently, he celebrated his 60th birthday with his young wife and their four-year-old daughter.
The documentary film “Jörg Immendorff – I Paint my Wound” accompanies the artist for as long as his illness permits. How does a man live in full knowledge of the inescapability of his situation, and how does this knowledge change his life and his art? This film is also an homage to an artist who, profoundly influenced by Joseph Beuys, has never ceased to struggle for a better world and to resist injustice — whether as an artist or as a human being.