"With more than 20 films since 1979, Peter Tscherkassky is one of Austria's most productive filmmakers. What is remarkable, however, is not so much the quantity as the consistent quality of his work. Tscherkassky never allows himself to fall back on certainties, rather, with each film, he is sizing up new territory. Tscherkassky's films are exceptional because he knows how to pair his strict concepts and his consistent exploration of a subject with a visual richness, revealing new, surprising facets of sensuality with every film he makes."
- Alexander Horwath
"A confrontation with the codes of narrative-representational cinema is one of Peter Tscherkassky's constant concerns. If one attempts to distill a constant from his films, then this must surely be the oscillation between abstract and the concrete, between the dry and the sensual, which is the source of energy in of his work. The question of belly or brain is one which Tscherkassky stopped asking long ago - for ultimately sobriety is the route to ecstasy."
- Gabriele Jutz
Peter Tscherkassky, born in Vienna in 1958, started making films in 1979. Today he is acclaimed as one of the most significant artists in the field of avant-garde filmmaking. His films have been honored with more than 50 awards including the Golden Gate Award (San Francisco), Main Prize at Oberhausen, and Best Short Film at the Venice Film Festival. Tscherkassky earned his PhD in Philosophy in 1986 with a dissertation entitled FILM AS ART and started teaching in 1988. He has organized several film festivals and curated countless film programs. Since 1984 he has published numerous essays on avant-garde film and in 1995 co-edited the book PETER KUBELKA with Gabriele Jutz. In 1991 he co-founded sixpackfilm, a distributor of Austrian film and video art. In 2005 INSTRUCTIONS FOR A LIGHT AND SOUND MACHINE premiered at the Cannes Film Festival and a bilingual (English/German) monograph entitled PETER TSCHERKASSKY was published. His light box installations have been exhibited throughout the world, including a one-person show at the renowned Gallery naechst St. Stephan/Rosemarie Schwarzwaelder. Tscherkassky has continued to make films; in 2008, the world premiere of the original 35mm version of PARALLEL SPACE: INTER-VIEW was held at the Louvre in Paris, and in 2010 the world premiere of COMING ATTRACTIONS took place at the 67th Mostra internazionale d#arte cinematografica di Venezia (Premio Orizzonti Cortometraggio). 2012 saw the publication of a book on Tscherkassky's work, FROM A DARK ROOM: THE MANUFRACTURED CINEMA OF PETER TSCHERKASSKY, as well as the release of a history of Austrian avant-garde cinema FILM UNFRAMED, which Tscherkassky edited. In the 2012 ranking of the Greatest Films of All Time, published every ten years by the BFI film magazine Sight & Sound, OUTER SPACE was honored with the ranking of position #322 (filmmakers poll) and position #377 (critics poll), based on 846 top-ten lists of cinephiles including directors, academics, distributors, curators and writers from 73 countries who collectively cited 2,045 different films. INSTRUCTIONS FOR A LIGHT AND SOUND MACHINE was honored with the ranking of position #894 (critics poll).
Awards (for the complete works):
Film Promotion Award of the Austrian Federal Ministry of Education and Art 1989
Austrian National Award for the Art of Film 1996
Award of Appreciation for the Art of Film of the province of Lower Austria 2003
Special Award of Festival Internacional de Cine de Gijón 2008