Black Box

screening and discussion

Video screening of works by Guy Ben Ner, Omer Fast, Nevet Izhak and Lior Fridman, Roy Menachem Markovich, Leigh Orpaz, Michael Zupraner

The video screening “Black Box” presents video and experimental cinema works from the last decade, dealing with Trauma and memory.
The artists, some of whom are based in Israel, relate to situations of conflict or war and raise question regarding responsibility and control.

A trauma is an event outside of the human experience, so extreme that it is not possible to represent it. As such, it is manifested in the works through a mix of genres, mixing documentary and fiction, attempts of escapism and dreams of Utopia.

These works also provide a reflexive gaze into the video medium, marking and accentuating their own manner of manufacture to examine how documentation reflects narratives of memory.
The artists incorporate a range of techniques that create a sense of estrangement, revealing the impossibility of one cohesive testimonial truth. In addition, the presence of technology in the works in the form of drones, military cameras, cellular phones, computers screens or the video camera itself, seem to reflect an anxiety over a loss of control, and a growing contradiction between the subjective self to the outside world.

The title – “Black Box” – is on the one hand the common term for the darkened room in which most video works are shown in the context of an exhibition. Yet this term is also used for the box found in plane crash wreckages, the capsule containing the “subconscious” of the transpired event, through which the sequence leading to the crash may be reconstructed.

Maayan Sheleff is an independent curator based in Tel Aviv. Her projects involve the exploration of participatory practices through new media, the moving image and performance while examining the borders between art and activism.

She is currently the artistic advisor of The Art Cube Artists Studios in Jerusalem, and was the Curator at the CCA and at Line 16 Gallery, Tel Aviv, as well as assistant Director at the international Curatorial Studies Program of the Kibbutzim College of Education. Sheleff curated various projects in different venues and in the public sphere, among them at the Metropolitan Museum of Photography, Tokyo, Madre museum in Naples, Herzlyia Museum in Israel, Shift festival in Basel, and the Bloomfield Science Museum in Jerusalem. She was the co-curator of various exhibitions in Israel and internationally, among them the first Tel Aviv- Yaffo Biennial. She won ISCP’s (International Studio& curatorial program, NY) 2012 Curator Award, and participated in ICI’s (Independent curators international, NY) curatorial intensive (2010).

Sheleff teaches curating and social and political art practices in the Kibbutzim College of Education, Tel Aviv, Bezalel Academy of Art and Design and the Sam Spiegel Film and Television school, Jerusalem, and at Sapir College in Sderot, and guest lectures in many other institutions.

Thursday 7 July 7pm
Dittrichova 9, Prague, CZ

Curator: Maayan Sheleff

At the end of the screening there will be a talk and Q&A with curator Maayan Sheleff.

Held in English.

PROGRAMME (total length 65 min):

1. Salute, Nevet Izhak and Lior Fridman
2005, 5 min 40 s
This experimental archival collage constructs an imaginary apocalyptic scenario, mixing historical footage from the six days war in Israel (1967), together with the falling of the twin towers in NY on september 11th 2001.

2. Soundtrack, Guy Ben Ner
2013, 11 min 22 s
A mayhem in the artist's kitchen goes out of hand, while borrowing it's soundtrack from Steven Speilberg's “War of the worlds”

3. And We Worked... ,Roy Menachem Markovich
2012, 4 min 30 s
The artist's grandmother, a Holocaust survivor, is trying to tell her memories to the camera , but things keep getting in the way.

4. The Snow Tapes, Michael Zupraner
2011, 13 min
Set in Hebron, one of the most violent cities in Israel, the work was born from a community based video project created by the artist together with local palestinian activists and B’tselem organization for human rights. It features two points of view: one through the eyes of the Palestinian el-Hadad family documenting a violent encounter with a group of neighboring Jewish settlers. The other, seen through the artist's lens, who documents the family in their living room viewing their own footage.

5. 5000 feet is the best, Omer Fast
2011, 30 min
An interview with a drone operator in a hotel in Las Vegas turns into a confusing psychological journey. The repetitive circular plot tells the unfinished story of trauma and responsibility in a world of technological novelties and the growing detachment it entails.

6. Breakfest, Leigh Orpaz
2014, 2 min 60 s
A crowd in a night club is seen through the footage of a thermal military, translating the invisible into zombie like figures, detached from time and place. Their repetitive movements, indifferent to being watched, become ominous, creating an expectation for some imminent event.

Related Event:

Maayan Sheleff:The Infiltrators

In her talk Maayan Sheleff will discuss “The Infiltrators”, an exhibition she curated at Artport Tel Aviv in 2014, with the participation of Daniel Landau, Paul Poet, Ghana Think Tank and Documentary Embroidery.
The Infiltrators examines the local and global state of asylum seekers and refugees through works created with the participation of communities of asylum seekers in Israel and elsewhere in the world.

Michael Zupraner: The Snow Tapes

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