SFC – Questions behind


“At the beginning was chaos, as well as emptiness”. The exhibition space at BETANOVUSS, where the performcance of Dorin Polak is planned to take space.

Today, I would like to continue representing SFC by starting spotlighting some questions behind the collection.

Firstly, I need to confess, that the collection of films does not fit in usual categorizations, this starts already with the used term “film” which might cause some misunderstandings, therefore I want to explain, that “film” is just describing the format of a sequence of moving images, but not a category in the sense of feature or short film, since the films are considered to be art, but by no means “cinema”.  While the format “video” is using always the video technology and each video is also representing a film, a film, however, is not automatically using video technology and is therefore also not automatically a video. In fact, the films included in “Shoah Film Collection” are films using the digital video technology, and all of them are this way also videos.

In contrary  to some non-linear works to be presented in the context of “A Virtual Memorial,”, these linear films manifesting themselves as experimental forms of art & moving images, have a duration between 1 minute and 60 minutes, some of them have rather a documenting character, without being documentaries in the conventional sense.

SFC is also much more than just a collection or archives of videos, above all it does not commission or is acquiring art works. All collected works, and in this way also all rights on the works, belong to the artists or owners of the videos, so the collection can be considered as a common context based on mutual agreements.  Via an open call in Internet, where also all entry rules and regulations can be found –http://www.nmartproject.net/netex/?p=1549 ,  the  multi-purpose project  wants to be an initiative earlier described as an encouragement addressed to artists, collecting the works selected from the incoming submissions, however,  can be considered rather as a process and a tool for activating and promoting, promoting in terms of looking for that public interested in  the ideas behind the initiative, as well as presenting the art works in different ways and contexts  to an audience, activating in terms of sensitize the artists for new approaches and visions in art and , as well as the audience leaving the accustomed position of passively consuming. So, also the terms “collecting” and “collection” were undergoing an activation.

Tomorrow, I will continue spotlighting the question of the topic of Shoah, but now, I would like to continue presenting the next videos of the collection.

While the first of the two films were created sometimes earlier, using  recordings about the period of World War II and the Holocaust for the artists research and representation, the two other ones were created especially for SFC – Shoah Film Collection, expressing what kind of ideas the artists are connecting with the Holocaust.

passing down, frame one - video by Maya Schweitzer

The first artist to be represented today  is the German Maya Schweitzer and her film “passing down, frame one”, 2007, 10:36.

Like many young people, she is exploring how  her family experienced and survived World War II by using the recordings of her grandmother.

Review “passing down, frame one”

The next film ”Time with Franz”, 2004, 11:00 was made by the Israeli videoartist  Dana Levy, when she completed an artist residency in Austria.

Dana Levy met Franz during her stay in Austria. He invited her to his countryside home, inherited from his family. There, she discovered boxes of old family photos, Nazi swastikas. Being third generation of the Holocaust, she felt threat, anger, and fear. The movie reflects the way the artist tries to overcome her mixed emotions. The past slowly gives way to the present moment, and to the developing friendship with Franz, despite history. The music is by Die Linzer Philharmonic, conducted by artist Hannes Langeder. The orchestra players are all non-professional. The result is an eerie out of tune classical music.

Review “Time with Franz”

Natania Rubin’s animated video, entitled: My Girl: A Case Study, 2009, 2:54 – created  for Shoah Film Collection as her very personal and original approach shows a fictive conversation between Anne Frank and Sigmund Freud, who never met in real life. While the artist’s imagination” is Anne Frank reawakening to life, the story of her short life and in this way also the Holocaust remain always in the awareness of the viewer.

Anne Frank and Sigmund Freud discuss an only slightly-revealed case of a third party who has undergone an abduction that transformed her sexuality. The reference footage from which the video was drawn, as well as its audio, is a collage of improvised performances by my father, a psychiatrist, and me based on reactions to a fictional narrative involving Alice and Wonderland being abducted by aliens.

Review “My Girl: A Case Study”

The last artist for today, the Italian Isobel Blank felt also encouraged to create a new film for SFC – Shoah Film Collection, entitled: “If a spot of human lasts”  2009, 3.57 minutes

How can a shape hold itself integer. Immutable. That is not possible in Nature, neither in man. But when a tragedy like the Shoah takes place, a man cannot either hold integer his status of human being.

Here a girl. her clothes, her hair, her movement, her shape of human. Her status of human, her lines put in evidence by the whitest white of the snow. Then..her shapes losing shape. Her hair losing definition. And her opposition to the lost of her status. Through the absence of movement. The stasis. Sitting in the white. Or through a dance. Her last help call. With her hair holding a branch, a tree. Holding Nature. Then the dark, not the light. Then the violence that makes human shape disappear. Starting from clothes, till the hair. And then only a paper figure. No hair, nothing. Neither a girl. Just a paper figure to be destroied. What lasts then? Just a color moving in the white. Just a little spot of red in a drawing that Nature cannot erase. Maybe a spot of human lasts. But only in memories.

Review “If a Spot of Human Lasts”

To be continued tomorrow.

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