Visual Artist Robert Fenz Death – Dead | Passed Away – Obituary
Robert Fenz Death – Dead: A great loss was made known to InsideEko. As friends and families of the deceased are mourning the passing of their loved and cherished Robert Fenz.
Terribly saddened by the passing of Robert Fenz. A committed filmmaker & artist whose voice will be missed. Inspired by greats Roy DeCarava, Chantal Akerman, Peter Hutton & Johan van der Keuken, Fenz was singularly talented. Hope to see his films travel.
Terribly saddened by the passing of Robert Fenz. A committed filmmaker & artist whose voice will be missed. Inspired by greats Roy DeCarava, Chantal Akerman, Peter Hutton & Johan van der Keuken, Fenz was singularly talented. Hope to see his films travel. pic.twitter.com/VyauXWIUqN
A magnificent visual poet left us, the experimental American filmmaker and visual artist Robert Fenz.
Robert was born in Ann Arbor, Michigan in 1969. He grows up in San Francisco, where he becomes a professional movie projectionist, notably for the Telluride Film Festival and for the Anthology Film Archives in New York, where he builds up a solid experimental culture. He begins studies in cinematographic directing at Bard College, NY, where he takes courses in particular by the master of film description, Peter Hutton. Graduated in 1997, he then obtains an MFA at the California Institute of the Arts in 2002. Robert Fenz meets Robert Gardner in Cambridge in 1998, asks him to show him his work, and a written correspondence between the two artists follows. In 2003 Robert Gardner hires Robert Fenz at the Harvard Film Studies Center.
Film lover, inseparable from his Bolex and his Aaton, Robert Fenz harmonized the principles of free jazz and visual celebration. His work combines a fine understanding of the cinematic medium with an exemplary sensitivity for difficult political issues. His films stand out through rigor, depth, visual energy and above all, historical accuracy. Robert’s body of work, from ‘Duet For Trumpet and Camera’ (1992) and ‘Vertical Air’ (1996) to his superb fresco ‘Meditations on Revolution’ (1997-2003) and to his most recent works, belongs to the same rank as those of Rudy Burckhardt, Helen Levitt, Bruce Baillie or Peter Hutton, to name some of the genius to whom his style and topics are close.
Robert Fenz was also a great cinematographer and producer for other artists. He worked as Co/cinematographer on Director Peggy Ahwesh’s film ‘Nocturn’ in 1997. In 2001 he worked as Co/Cinematographer, coproducer and as First Assistant Director on Chantal Akerman’s documentary ‘De l’autre côté/From the Other Side’, shot on the USA-Mexican border. In 2002, he was the Cinematographer for her Installation for Documenta 11, in 2006, he was again Chantal Akerman’s cinematographer for ‘Là-bas/Down There’, shot in Israel. His own short film ‘Crossing’ (2006) is a loving experimental answer to Chantal Akerman’s documentary.
His work was screened or exhibited all over the world in theaters, museums and galleries, notably at the Museum of Modern Art, NYC, Millennium Film Work-shop, NYC, Anthology Film Archives, NYC, the 31st International Film Festival Rotterdam, the Pacific Film Archive, Berkeley, CA, the Cinéma du Réel in Paris (2009), thank to Javier PC Packer-Comyn. It get many awards, among them: ‘Vertical Air’ received a “Jurors’ Citation” at the 16th Black Maria Film Festival, in 1997. In 1999, ‘Meditations on Revolution, Part l: Lonely Planet’, won “Best Cinematography” at the 37th Ann Arbor Film Festival and ‘Meditations on Revolution, Part ll: The Space in Between’, won “Best Experimental Film” at the Nashville Independent Film Festival. ‘Meditations on Revolution, Part V: Foreign City’ won the prize for “Best Film” at the 23rd Black Maria,10th Media City and CinemaTexas 8, Film Festivals. It won the prize for “Best Cinematography” at the 42nd Ann Arbor Film Festival.
On the night of August 8-9, 2020, Robert Fenz died in his sleep from an heart attack. The title of one of his exhibition in Berlin (2012) offers a good summary of his values and perspectives: “Arsenal of Democracy”. We will need Robert Fenz’s work more and more every day.
Rest In Silver Peace, dearest Robert.
So sad to hear that Robert Fenz has left us. He was my very first teacher in experimental film back in 2006 at Schule Friedl Kubelka *FILM. Friedl Kubelka just founded the film school and all was very fresh. We were a small group of 9 people, eager to learn about experimental cinema and shoot on film ourselves. Robert came several times to Vienna to teach us both. We all connected to him. I remember our encounters at the school very well, but Robert seemed to enjoy teaching even more being outside, in town. We made several walks together through Vienna. During one of these walks, Robert shot this footage of the class, which he used later in 2015 when I invited him to make a trailer for the film school. He was very open to share his knowledge, his passion and his struggles with us. So many great and important memories. So many great films he made and shared with all of us ❤️💔 #robertfenz
We are still working on getting more details about the death, as family statement on the death is yet to be released.