German artist, creator of works of art made of wire and wheels. In the diverse, artistic work of Harry Kramer his interest in mechanical theatre is a transition between dance and film, which led him to sketch and then to make kinetic sculptures using delicate wire.

Between 1953 and 1955, Kramer created in Paris nude marionettes in the form of material collages and the first figures on wheels for the programme, 13 Szenen (13 Scenes), which premiered in Berlin. He dispensed with dramatic plot and instead presented studies in movement accompanied by “Konkreter Musik” (Concrete Music) on a black stage. The second programme, Signale im Schatten (Signals in the Shadows, 1959), featured figures on wheeled vehicles, mobile and static appliances and sculptures, areas of light and shadow as well as electronic music. The result was a sort of absurd ballet, of objects circling without ever meeting.

Kramer created with precise mechanical figures a haunting cosmos between nightmare and black humour. The use of dynamic, staccato-like pulsing light led him to experimental short films: Die Stadt (The City, 1956), Defense 58-24 (1957) and Die Schleuse (The Sluice, 1961).

(See Germany.)


  • Wilhardt, Michael, ed. Ein Frisör aus Lingen. Harry Kramer [A Hairdresser from Lingen. Harry Kramer]. Freren: Luca Verlag, 1990.