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Why Don't You Say It?

Experimental films project
Curator: Michal Heiman
Participating artists: Aya Ben Ron, Dana Gilerman, Rona Yefman, Yael Bartana, Gilad Ratman, Boaz Arad, Ariela Plotkin, Michal Rothschild, Karen Russo, Ariella Azoulay, Elyasaf Kowner
Supported by the New Israeli Foundation for Cinema and T.V.

"Most people fall sick because they don't know how to say what they see and what they think."
-- Fernando Pessoa, The Book Of Disquiet, Quote trans. Ioram Melcer
Spaces without  Witnesses  / (Michal Heiman, Curator)
"[...] Now, when the moving images introduced by the digital revolution are shifting from screening halls to exhibition spaces, a new definition of film may be generated - not from the restricted field of the history of cinema, but from the expanded field of the history of art. [...] There are countless filmmakers who work like artisans, like plastic artists. [...] Some filmmakers manage to create while adapting to the film industry, others do not; there are artists from both sides of this dividing line, compelling us to rethink the contours and boundaries of cinematic genres. Experimental or nonstandard cinema is economically negligible but aesthetically dominant, and this type of cinema can no longer be deciphered solely on the basis of the history of cinema, since it finds its sources or inspiration also in the history of music, painting or sculpture, namely - in the history of art."
-- From: Ariel Schweitzer, "Interview with Philippe-Alain Michaud," Studio 159, March-April 2005, pp. 62-63 [Hebrew]

Two years have passed since the project was launched, and now that the eleven films have been completed, together they seem to constitute an intricate exploration of notions such as silence and silencing, articulation, thinking, testimonies, diversion, false speech/dubbing, penetration, humiliation, substitution, humor, effacement, implantation, etc.
The recurring attempts in all the films to enter what I would term "spaces without witnesses" seem to enable the introduction of voices and non-voices into the realms of film material.
(It is not always clear whether we are indeed witnessing the emergence of memories without witnesses, or whether we are viewing the formation of screen memories, namely memories that remind and mask, attest and deny at one and the same time. Is there really a way to make the voices of "unknown others" heard?)
Michal Heyman, September 2005
In conjunction with the Auto\biography Project, Fall 2005, an initiative of Ha'Midrasha School of Art, Beit Berl College


1. Aya Ben Ron, Still Under Treatment, 2005, 5: 3 0 min.
Seven patients shift from a state of wakefulness to a state of sleep while receiving general anesthetics in a hospital, exploring the moment in which a person gives total control of his body to another.

2. Dana Gilerman, Scream, 2005, 1 min.
The portrait of a woman at the moment of orgasm; a mute, forced scream, extracted from dozens of pornographic films, corresponding with Edvard Munch's painting.

3. Rona Yefman, 2 Flags, 2005, 16:30 min.
The "Stripes" and the "Hoods", two gangs with a long history of conflict, fight one another in the urban space of an imaginary, conceptual territory.

4. Yael Bartana, Odds and Ends, 2005, 4:00 min.
A newspaper picture of a sale in a mall in Philadelphia, 2003, captures the director's eye. A woman is crushed to death by the mob while trying to purchase a DVD player for her son. Reconstruction of a similar situation in the shopping mall of the city of Lod, Israel.

5. Michal Rothschild, Zoom Zoom, 2005, 5:30 min.
"I'm here," a woman sings out of the director's apartment in two cities, Berlin and Tel Aviv. The camera reveals the woman time and again, waving a red cloth, marking her spot from afar.

6. Boaz Arad, Gefilte Fish, 2005, 11 min.
The director's mother gives a lesson in preparing gefilte fish. Her voice comes out of her son's mouth. On "gefilte fish Oedipus" and the Norman Bates (Psycho) Syndrome.

7. Gilad Ratman, Che-Che the Gorgeous, 2005, 8 min.
A strange story about the sorrow of penetrability. Pupa-men in a primordial landscape ("They are not devoid of desire"), sound recorders ("who effectuates and who is effected?" and a singer ("his own ghost director").

8.  Karen Russo, Candy House, 2004, 8 min.
The portrait of a conniving woman (the director). The film challenges the prevalent view of the artist as a man/woman of morals, in continuation of her film Charity.

9. Ariela Plotkin, Aishet Chayil, 2005, 3 min.
The commodity on sale is a "woman of valor". The woman of valor (the director), is always on high heels, always flirting, and always has something stuck in her mouth or next to it - and she loves it.

10. Ariella Azoulay, When Night Falls, 2005, 17 min.
Through an imaginary conversation between five women, the film touches upon the physical and emotional experience of being abandoned on a sexual basis

11. Elyasaf Kowner, In my Home, 2005, 11:30 min.
Interior and exterior scenes from the director's home on the outskirts of Tel Aviv. Illusive sounds and testimonies of the director himself, the rain, the front façade of a brothel, the police in action, a fire.

Total program length (a sequence of 11 films): 94 min.
The program will be screened in a loop for 4 hours a day
(during Museum opening hours).

Screening order: Aya Ben Ron > Dana Gilerman > Rona Yefman > Yael Bartana > Gilad Ratman > Boaz Arad > Ariela Plotkin > Michal Rothschild > Karen Russo > Ariella Azoulay > Elyasaf Kowner


Selected Screenings:
Herzlia Museum of contemporary Art , 2005



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