Marc Adrian (1930-2008) is one of the pioneers of Austrian experimental cinema. From the late 1950s, he made films alongside Kurt Kren, Peter Kubelka and Ferry Radax. His film work is however part of a broader artistic program, which goes far beyond film itself: a painter, sculptor, draftsman and poet, Adrian is considered to be one of Austria’s most important abstract artists.
It was after his concrete poetry experiments that Adrian developed his first structural films. The photogram, like the concrete typographic sign, became an autonomous motif that the filmmaker could manipulate, compile, multiply or permutate. Shots of colour, words, letters or parts of the body formed an elementary vocabulary that he modulated at will.
Seeking to break free from conventions of composition and narration, he developed an early interest in working processes based on chance or random selection. The composition of his films is often based on mathematical formulas or computer tools, which at the time had barely been investigated by others.
Always searching for new modes of expression, Adrian also invested some of his films with social or historical content, documenting political events such as the parade of 1 May in Vienna in 1958, to highlight the social issues of his time.