HR Giger

H.R. Giger. Kunst – Design – Film

Außenansicht Deutsches Filmmuseum Frankfurt, © Matthias Belz

Catalogue HR Giger


H.R. Giger. Art – Design – Film

Temporary Exhibition, Film Series and Catalogue
21 January through 26 July 2009

The exhibition presents, for the first time worldwide, a comprehensive selection of the film-related works of H.R. Giger. The artist himself was closely involved in its planning. In addition to numerous sketches and designs, the show also includes sculptures such as “Humanoid” from SWISSMADE and one of the “Harkonnen” chairs that Giger designed for DUNE. Central areas of the show are dedicated to ALIEN, ALIEN3, POLTERGEIST II, and SPECIES.

The exhibition displays the most important design blueprints of the film creatures, which Giger generally executed in pencil, ink, and acrylic. These are supplemented with further works by Giger which illustrate the genesis of central motives, in particular of the “Biomechanoids”. Other items in the exhibition document how the ideas were implemented during the production of the film: Photographs show the construction of the settings and models for ALIEN, and storyboards and excerpts from the screenplay illustrate the creative process. The visitor will also see impressive three-dimensional special-effects props and parts of costumes, including heads and models of the ALIEN creature, as well as the suit and a transparent bust of Sil from SPECIES.

Photos, posters, reviews, promotional material, comics and merchandise articles illustrate the global reception of the ALIEN design in particular. Several video stations are integrated into the exhibition, allowing the visitors to see short films and excerpts from movies as well as documentary making-of material. The show is designed as a touring exhibition, and after premiering in Frankfurt am Main will be presented at other international museums and exhibition sites.

Photo-Gallery Phozo-Gallery



The catalogue presents the most important examples of H.R. Gigers Filmdesign. Besides his famous works for ALIEN (1979), POLTERGEIST II (1986) and SPECIES (1995) the book introduces Gigers early works like the extraterrestrial Humanoid for SWISSMADE 2069 (1968) and ambitious film projects like "Dune" or "The Tourist". It contains many yet unreleased production photographs and the memories from Gigers companions.

H.R. Giger
Kunst – Design – Film
Editor: Deutsches Filminstitut – DIF e.V. /
Deutsches Filmmuseum, Frankfurt am Main, 2009
Only in German language

84 pages, 110 illustrations, Hardcover
ISBN: 978-3-9805865-6-6
€ 14,90
Available at the museum and in the onlineshop.


Biography HR Giger

The Swiss painter and sculptor HR Giger (*5 February 1940 in Chur) is considered one of the most important representatives of “Fantastic Realism”. “Biomechanoids”, a term associated with him, are a recurring theme in his works; they emphasise the mechanical in living creatures. This along with the attendant sexual connotations often has a disturbing effect on the viewer. Giger has been working as an artist since the mid 1960s. His works include drawings, oil and airbrush paintings, sculptures, furniture, designs for album covers (including for Dead Kennedys, Debbie Harry and Danzig) and films.

Giger’s most famous work for film is the monster that he created for the classic movie ALIEN (Ridley Scott, GB/USA 1979). He received a “Best Achievement for Visual Effects” Academy Award (Oscar) in 1980 for his creation of the movie´s title character and for the extraterrestrial design. Designs for other films such as POLTERGEIST II (Brian Gibson, USA 1986) and SPECIES (Roger Donaldson, USA 1995), for which he designed an extraterrestrial beauty named “Sil”, ensured his reputation and have made him a leading figure in science fiction and horror film.

Yet Giger’s film career began earlier. In 1967, working with Fredi M. Murer, he realised his first film projects, HIGH and HEIMKILLER, which staged his own works. For SWISSMADE 2069 (CH 1968), Giger created the first monster costume from polyester vinyl. In 1976, for DUNE, a film project planned by director Alejandro Jodorowsky, he came up with a variety of set designs, which, however, were not incorporated in the later film version made by David
Lynch (USA 1984). Also never realised were his fantastic designs for the extraterrestrial creatures in the horror film project THE TOURIST or for the Batmobile in BATMAN FOREVER (Joel Schumacher, USA 1995). David Fincher’s ALIEN3 (USA 1992) returned to Giger’s original designs; the popular creature also lives on in the numerous Aliens comics of the American publisher Dark Horse.


Official website
Website of HR Giger Museum in Château St. Germain, Gruyères
Website of Matthias Belz and Marco Witzig, the authors of Gigers complete catalogue raisonné
Website of the American publishing house Morpheus International


Film Series

Sat 7.2. 8.30 p.m.
GB/USA 1979/2003, D: Ridley Scott, Cast:Tom Skerritt, Sigourney Weaver, Veronica Cartwright, 115 min (Original version)

Sat 7.2. 10.30 p.m.
USA 1986, D: James Cameron, Cast: Sigourney Weaver, Carrie Henn, Michael Biehn, 137 min (German version)

Sat 14.2. 8.30 p.m.
USA 1992, D: David Fincher, Cast: Sigourney Weaver, Charles S. Dutton, Charles Dance, 115 min (German version)

Sa 14.2. 22.30 Uhr
USA 1997, D: Jean-Pierre Jeunet, Cast: Sigourney Weaver, Winona Ryder, Dominique Pinon, 108 min (original version)

Short and medium length documentaries by Fredi M. Murer or J.J. Wittmer give insight in the life and works of HR Giger. Especially instructive are PASSAGEN (Passages, 1972) by Murer, a filmic portrait of the artist, and GIGER's ALIEN (1979) by Wittmer, which witnesses Giger's work in creating the alien. Giger himself comments the film.
Giger's work is also focussed on in HIGH (1967), TAGTRAUM (Daydream, 1973), GIGER’S NECRONOMICON (1975), THE SECOND CELEBRATION OF THE FOUR (1977) und A NEW FACE OF DEBBIE HARRY (1981).

Sat 21.2. 4.00 p.m.
PASSAGEN (Passages)
F.M. Murer, Switzerland 1972
H.R. Giger, Mia Bonzanigo, J.J. Wittmer, Switzerland 1979
J.J. Wittmer, H.R. Giger, Switzerland 1975
J. J. Wittmer, H. R. Giger, Switzerland 1977
Fredi M. Murer, Switzerland 1981
H.R. Giger, F.M. Murer, C. Lange, Switzerland 1967

Thu 19.2. 8.30 p.m.
PASSAGEN (Passages)
Switzerland 1972, F.M. Murer, Documentary, 50 min

Fri 20.2. 8.30 p.m.
Switzerland 1979, H.R. Giger, Mia Bonzanigo, J.J. Wittmer, Documentary, 34 min

Fri 27.2. 6.00 p.m.
TAGTRAUM (Daydream)
Switzerland 1973, R: J.J. Wittmer, Documentary, 28 min
Switzerland 1975, R: J.J. Wittmer, H.R. Giger, Documentary, 40 min
Switzerland 1977,R: J.J. Wittmer, H.R. Giger, Documentary, 5 min
Switzerland 1981, R: Fredi M. Murer, Documentary, 32 min

All films are shown in the cinema of the Deutsches Filmmuseum, Frankfurt/Main.


The exhibition is presented under the patronage of the Swiss Consulate
General in Frankfurt/Main.

Cooperation partners and sponsors

prohelvetia fazit freunde des deutschen filmmuseums

zuerich Weinstrase  


Website "H.R. Giger. Kunst – Design – Film" (available in German only)

Photos: Exhibition at the Art Museum in Tampere, Finland, 2010


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