Karl Spreitz has been a fixture on the Victoria scene: a joker, filmmaker, photographer, painter and member of the Limners artists’ society. In my experience, his films have existed more as rumour than reality. Now, the Karl Spreitz Film Collection, more than 100 reels of 16-mm film, has been donated by Spreitz to the University of Victoria. The films, described as “in various stages of production,” are both professional commissions and personal projects, collaborations with artists and friends. Many are now available online in an archive that also includes paintings and drawings by Spreitz and short essays by some of his collaborators.
Born in Graz, Austria, in 1927, Spreitz came to Victoria in 1951. It was about that time that artist Herbert Siebner, Spreitz’s partner in pranks, arrived from Germany, and Colin Graham, a huge supporter of these artists, became the founding director of the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria. Modernism