in Bitterfeld-


Photographer and filmmaker Tobias Zielony traces the history of Kodachrome color film – and the legends that surround it. Both Americans and Germans lay claim to the invention of color film. Zielony’s installation brings the myths to life as the dream of a former Kodak warehouse worker.

The American color film process goes back to the two musicians Leopold Mannes jr. and Leopold Godowsky. The two amateur photographers had been working privately on the development of color film since 1920. In 1930, the Kodak company invited them to Rochester in the US state of New York to further develop their invention. The breakthrough came in 1936: Kodak launched Kodachrome on the US market. The film sets new standards in terms of color contrast, fine grain and durability. Its two inventors were soon nicknamed MAN AND GOD. In the USA, Kodak capitalized on the discovery of two independent Jewish musicians – an American dream? In Germany, the myth persists that the National Socialists invented the first color film. At first glance, MAN AND GOD therefore reads as a counter-narrative to the German myth. But Kodakchrome is interwoven with the war industry and the hubris of technological and political superiority of the USA from the very beginning. And as in the case of Agfa/ORWO, the story of Kodak ends with the closure of almost all of its plants and the dismissal of tens of thousands of workers. The installation is told MAN AND GOD as the dream of a former Kodak warehouse worker. The sheer unbelievability of the invention of Kodackchrome is mixed with memories of everyday working life and the years of the company’s almost complete collapse.

In cooperation with the Goethe-Institut New York.

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