Scene from the film Whatever Happened to Gelitin
Scene from the film Whatever Happened to Gelitin
Scene from the film Whatever Happened to Gelitin
Scene from the film Whatever Happened to Gelitin
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Whatever Happened to Gelitin

  • Austria
Audio Tracks 

Artist Liam Gillick hasn´t seen them. Director John Waters has no idea where they are. Filmmaker Tony Conrad has his theories, but he is not saying. But whoever you ask, the fact remains, the four members of the Austrian artist group, Gelitin (Wolfgang Gantner, Ali Janka, Florian Reither, and Tobias Urban) have disappeared! So Salvatore Viviano, artist, art dealer, and occasional collaborator in Gelitin performances, sets off on a cinematic search for the funniest boy group in the world. With an imposing microphone in hand, he questions artists, gallerists and curators about the group´s possible whereabouts. His imaginary quest provides the narrative framework for Angela Christlieb´s tour de force film, which both portrays, and itself, mirrors, the energy of Gelitin´s anarchic operations. The quartet rose to fame with border-crossing and visually powerful performances, sculptures, installations, and photos. They roll gleefully in the mud, incite audiences to acts of art destruction, attach stuffed animals to their testicles for a "fashion shoot"; dance naked with spinning tassels attached to their buns, or discuss which of the four´s excrement created which letters in the "Kackabet"—letters made from feces. At one point, art dealer Christian Meyer analyzes, "Our world is always trying to rationalize things, an approach that Gelitin deliberately refuses." Christlieb constructs her film out of a wealth of archival material, rhythmically assembled, and interwoven with stories and observations from various interviews. Art dealer Leo Koenig says that Gelitin’s art just makes him want to strip of his clothes, while artist Tom Sachs admits, “I wish my life were 10 percent more Gelitin!” A yearning that will certainly be shared by many after watching this film. (Nina Schedlmayer)


  • Original Title
    Whatever Happened to Gelitin
  • Direction
  • Editing
    Angela Christlieb
  • Music
    XTMPLX, Japanther, Philipp Quehenberger, Maehl Schuyler, Psychic TV, Tankris, Blueblut, Trafo
  • Sound
    Chris Janka
  • Runtime
    82 min (46-90 min.)
  • Year
  • Country
    • Austria
  • Format
    • Colour
  • Distribution
  • Festivals
    • Diagonale, Festival des österreichischen Films, Graz
    • Internationale Filmtage, Hof
    • Dokumentarfilm- & Videofest, Kassel
    • IndieCork Film Festival, Cork
    • Espoo Cine Festival
    • Hong Kong - Int. Film Festival
    • Chicago Underground Film Festival
    • Taipei - Urban Nomad Festival
    • Lausanne LUFF Underground Film Festival
    • Stranger Than Fiction Dokumentarfilmfestival, Köln
    • Diametrale Filmfestival, Innsbruck is powered by Doc Alliance, a creative partnership of 7 key European documentary film festivals. Our aim is to advance the documentary genre, support its diversity and promote quality creative documentary films.

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