Strategy: Get Arts. SGA50
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8. Repurposed poster used in August-September 1970 to promote the resumption of screenings after the police had confiscated films from Studio C.06

At SGA, the Edinburgh police seized the films of the Düsseldorf-based artists because they had not been certified by the British Board of Film Censors.

This repurposed poster was used in August-September 1970 to promote the resumption of screenings after the police had confiscate

Studio C.06 was used for the Strategy: Get Arts Film Room and showcased the work of

  • Tony Morgan,
  • Lutz Mommartz,
  • Claus Böhmler,
  • Christof Kohlhöfer,
  • Sigmar Polke,
  • Ferdinand Kriwet,
  • Günther Uecker,
  • and Mauricio Kagel.

This repurposed poster was used in August and September 1970 to promote the resumption of screenings after films had been confiscated by the police.

Several of the artists who participated in Strategy: Get Arts wanted to show their experimental films.

Lutz Mommartz (b. 1934), who has lived in Düsseldorf since 1937, brought 16 of his films.

Tony Morgan (1938-2004) brought 12 films.

They were screened in the designated Film Room (C.06), although film was also incorporated into performances, such as Beuys’s Celtic (Kinloch Rannoch) Scottish Symphony, which took place in studio C.08.

Lutz Mommartz, films and the police

Mommartz is considered to be one of the pioneers of experimental film. On Thursday 27 August 1970, just four days after the opening, the police seized the films from SGA, including all those by Mommartz, because they had not been certified by the British Board of Film Censors.

[there is] no question of any objection to the contents of the films. None of them, for instance, is pornographic.

Richard DemarcoTalking to the press in August 1970 (See Richard Demarco Archive, SNGMA)

Mommartz’s film Weg zum Nachbarn (Way to the Neighbour; 1968), however, would certainly have been challenging for some ECA visitors. This film is not explicit in terms of nudity, but it does show a young woman in a diaphanous vest (the actress Renate Meves) in the act of making love, simulated or otherwise, staring lustfully at the viewer for the duration.

On Monday 31 August 1970, Mommartz wrote to Demarco, informing him that his films had been confiscated by the Edinburgh police and that he gave him authority to pick them up from the police stations on his behalf: ‘Please make it possible that the films can pass the customs and arrive without calamity’. (See Richard Demarco Archive at SNGMA).

Repurposed poster used to promote the resumption of screenings after the police had confiscated films from Studio C.06
Photo © George Oliver.

Tony Morgan

Morgan studied at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf and was the only British artist at SGA. He made nearly 50 films between 1968 and 1976.

In his 1970 SGA catalogue entry, Morgan refers to his interest in the idea of ‘people as art’ and mentions five of the 12 films to be shown at the festival exhibition, including

  • Munich People,
  • Us,
  • Please put your tongue out,
  • Vis-à-vis,
  • and Description.

Description was screened at 7pm on the official opening of SGA (23 August 1970) in the Film Room.


Four posters advertising the event were placed either side of the main staircase of ECA main building.

Morgan’s black-and-white film shows most of the artists who would participate in SGA, including those whose international reputations and fame were very much in the ascendency. Morgan’s films were also confiscated by the police.

A makeshift Morgan poster, recycled from an earlier Kunsthalle Düsseldorf exhibition, referred to this situation, with the caption: ‘Films Released by the Police. Screenings as Usual’.

This repurposed Düsseldorf poster from February 1969, was originally for a fibreglass sculptural installation entitled, Five Hung Red, an artwork also prominently shown in SGA.

Some of the filmmakers created experimental film whilst in Scotland for SGA. Mommartz, Günther Uecker, and Gotthard Graubner, made Das Atem des Schafes (The Breath of Sheep), which shows the artists’ car journey through Scotland, with memorable scenes of Uecker traipsing across moorland in white trousers and shoes, as well as exploring Eilean Donan Castle and other sites.

Breath of Sheep (1970) is a weird experimental film made by SGA artists who toured Scotland, including Uecker (who wears white jeans whilst crossing a peat bog). As a soundtrack, Mommartz used a song by Jimi Hendrix (A Merman I Should Turn to Be) from the album Electric Ladyland, recorded in 1968 (two years before Hendrix's death in 1970). The ending is really surreal and a bit stomach-churning.

Christian Weikop

It is clear from this film that Scotland gave Mommartz and other artists who came in person from Germany a great deal in terms of artistic inspiration.

For much more detail on the contribution of filmmakers to SGA, please see Christian Weikop, Strategy: Get Arts. 35 Artists Who Broke the Rules (EUP, 2021).


Related links

Watch Tony Morgan's Description (1970) (from Richard Salton Gallery's website)

Watch Lutz Mommartz’s Breath of Sheep (1970) (on