We acknowledge the Gadigal of the Eora Nation, the traditional custodians of the Country on which the Art Gallery of NSW stands.





Paul Winkler

Germany, Australia

22 Jun 1939 –

Alternate image of Brickwall by Paul Winkler
Alternate image of Brickwall by Paul Winkler
Alternate image of Brickwall by Paul Winkler
  • Details

    Media category
    Time-based art
    Materials used
    16mm film shown as single channel digital video, colour, sound
    duration: 00:21:43 min, aspect ratio: 4:3
    Purchased 2022
    Not on display
    Accession number
    © Paul Winkler

    Reproduction requests

    Artist information
    Paul Winkler

    Works in the collection


  • About

    Crunch, scrape, repeat. Listen in and you’ll hear the sounds of a wall being built in the 1970s on Bourke St in Sydney’s Surry Hills. This film was shot by Paul Winkler, a bricklayer-turned-filmmaker who emigrated to Australia from Germany in 1959. Upon arriving in Sydney, Winkler attended screenings at the Workers’ Educational Association and devoured books on filmmaking in the Mitchell Library. This self-education inspired an internationally-acclaimed experimental film practice which privileged form, rhythm and materiality over conventional narrative.

    ‘Being a bricklayer, this was one of my most important films. It represents eight hours work…I wanted to construct the 22 minutes of film very much like how I laid bricks in the physical sense – with a trowel and mortar.

    Sometimes I shot the bricks very close up, so you become intimately aware of the grain and the different complexion of each brick. Because they’re shot single-frame, the bricks themselves actually come alive, dance. The sweat, the wear and tear, and the bricks themselves… there’s a spirituality there.’ – Paul Winkler.

  • Exhibition history

    Shown in 1 exhibition

Other works by Paul Winkler