Meta Mecano


The camera follows the progress of Jean Tinguely's works, as they are dismantled for transportation from the “Verrerie” to the Museum of Basle. Filmed sequences showing these delicate and ephemeral structures “en route” to the museum are interspersed with other sequences showing their reassembly on arrival. Thus mixed, these two stages serve as a preamble to the exhibition’s inaugural party, at which the artist's works are restored to posterity. It captures perfectly the relentless tension between two states: permanence and falling into ruin. A dialogue is created between explanations provided by Swiss architect Mario Botta, and the rebellious Jean Tinguely’s own words. Civilisation and nature, spiritual and mechanical, motion and inertia are constantly at odds in this film. The magic eye of “Meta-Mecano” reveals matter and motion, machines made of mechanical gears and hammers, in their pure state. The love of Niki de Saint Phalle for Jean Tinguely, and Seppi Imhof’s devotion to the artist’s work, guarantee the presence of the great man himself throughout the film. (64 minutes)


  • Director, Writer, Producer: Rudolf Gerber
  • Associate Producer: Ted Scapa
  • Director of Photography: Patrick Lindenmaier
  • Editor: Mirjam Krakenberger
  • Sound: Dieter Lengacher
  • Music: Vinz Vonlanthen


  • With: Mario Botta, Niki de Saint Phalle, Seppi Imhof, Pontus Hulten, Jean Tinguely