Biographical documentary about Arno Stern, the inventor of Malort, internationally known from French as “Closlieu”. Pioneer of painting studios, discoverer of universality in expression through the image, author and educator in the world of painting children.
A film by Andrea A. Rodoni
TRACES OF EXPERIENCE
ARNO STERN, A LIFE DEDICATED TO THE WORLD OF PAINTING CHILDREN
Arno Stern founded the first children’s painting studio in Paris, which became known worldwide as “Closlieu”.
His work has influenced areas of pedagogy and painting therapy, and is the inspiration for many more. The film delves into connections between the biography and life’s work of the now 95-year-old educator, researcher and author, and accompanies him during a journey to Switzerland, to places of his last youthful years, to a historical moment linked to his biography.
Arno Stern founded the first children’s painting studio in Paris a good 70 years ago.
His painting place (Closlieu) is especially known for its unique structure, a space free of judgement. In the film, Arno Stern tells how he built the “Closlieu” studio, how everything came about, and how he began to explore the development of natural expression through the image, painting with children from all over the world. He talks about formulation, a natural structure, similar to the alphabet of a language, which children, and thus adults too, develop naturally, and why it is created in this way using concrete examples. Many years ago he already spoke of the connection with the organic memory of the human being. And he became known for his discovery of the universality of the primordial pictorial language. The film also deals specifically with the biography of Arno Stern, who was 95 years old during the filming, his own childhood, how he found refuge with his parents in Switzerland as a Jewish refugee at the last moment, and why he connects these last years of youth in a special way with German literature and classical music. Until the beginning of his work with children, from 1946 after the end of the war, which led to his life’s work. With recordings of painting lessons in Arno Stern’s painting place (Clolslieu, Académie du Jeudi) in Paris, the “original”, after whose model there are countless painting studios worldwide today.
Arno Stern, Michèle Stern, the grandchildren Antonin and Benjamin Stern, Dr. Gregor Spuhler from the Archives of Contemporary History at ETH Zurich, various children from the painting place (“Closlieu”) in Paris, the “original”; as well as painting places in schools in Switzerland and Italy. And others…
Written and directed by Andrea A. Rodoni
Camera: Nicolas Joray, Helena Vagnières, Andrea Rodoni
Sound: Reto Stamm, Thomas Gassmann, Salome Wüllner
Editing: Andrea A. Rodoni
Production: Peter Spoerri, PS Film, Zurich
First distribution: DocMovefilm, Lugano
Further information: www.arnostern-film.ch
Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)