Over Your Cities Grass Will Grow
In 1993 Kiefer left Buchen, Germany for La Ribaute, a derelict silk factory near Barjac. From 2000 he began constructing a series of elaborate installations there. Like a strange, sprawling village, La Ribaute extends over 350,000 square meters and is composed of old industrial buildings and working studios that link to a network of underground tunnels dug out by Kiefer, which run underneath pavilions built to house paintings and installations. An underground pool at the cul-de-sac of a tubular iron tunnel is embedded within a crypt which backs onto to a 20 m tiered concrete amphitheatre. There are caves and woods, an open landscape of concrete towers – assembled like so many card houses – and secluded, private spaces. Traversing this landscape, the film immerses the audience in the total world and creative process of one of today’s most significant and inventive artists. Shot in cinemascope, the film constructs visual set pieces alongside observational footage to capture both the dramatic resonance of Kiefer’s art and the intimate process of creation. This polarity – in terms of scale, sensibility and time – animates the film, creating a multi-layered narrative through which to navigate the complex spaces of La Ribaute. Here creation and destruction are interdependent; the film enters into direct contact with the raw materials Kiefer employs to build his paintings and sculptures - lead, concrete, ash, acid, earth, glass and gold. "Over Your Cities Grass Will Grow" gives privileged access to Kiefer’s last days at La Ribotte prior to his move to Paris, where he now lives and works.