Language has un…

Language has unmistakably made plain that memory is not an instrument for exploring the past,
but rather a medium. It is the medium of that which is experienced, just as the earth is the
medium in which ancient cities lie buried. He who seeks to approach his own buried past must
conduct himself like a man digging. Above all, he must not be afraid to return again and again to
the same matter; to scatter it as one scatters earth, to turn it over as one turns over soil. For the
”matter itself” is no more than the strata which yield their long-sought secrets only to the most
meticulous investigation. That is to say, they yield those images that, severed from all earlier
associations, reside as treasures in the sober rooms of our later insights––like torsos in a
collector’s gallery. It is undoubtedly useful to plan excavations methodically

Walter Benjamin: Excavation and Memory

Albert Kahn’s archive on Balfour’s declaration 1917 -1925


November 2, 1917 the declaration of Lord Arthur Balfour , the British foreign minister, says that Britain

“Favorably considering the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavors to facilitate the achievement of this goal. It must be clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country.”

Western Wall fragment Violin composition

Western Wall fragment Violin composition

Notes by Andrew on the violin composition:

1) Distortion of the sound according to loss of picture
2) Murmur of the crowds (manipulated to sound distant yet constant) – trying to give a feeeling of witnessing it but not being THERE
3) Violin based on Hassidic melody performed by Boris Yevarechecha.
Played in a western style/western harmony -> Trying to show the breadth of Jewish migration and also that we are not THERE witnessing it.
Also, it has an irregular metre (timing) which aims to give a sense of timelessness…
It is also sorrowful = Mourning the destruction of the temple
4) Prayer emerges whenever you see a book…
5) I have reversed the “soundscape” and the piano when the woman is walking backwards (just a trick to denote movement)
6) The crowd fades out just leaving the violin at the end with the man alone with his torah. Tries to suggest that religion is also a personal thing although judaism is wrapped up in its global community

“Just as mosaic…

“Just as mosaics preserve their majesty despite their fragmentation into capricious particles, so philosophical contemplation is not lacking in momentum. Both are made up of the distinct and the disparate; and nothing could bear more powerful testimony to the transcendent force of the sacred image and the truth itself. The value of fragments of thought is all the greater the less direct their relationship to the underlying idea, and the brilliance of the representation depend as much on this value as the brilliance of the mosaic does on the glass plate. The relationship between the minute precision of the work and the proportions of the sculptural or intellectual whole demonstrates that truth content is only to be grasped through immersion in the most minute details of subject matter.”

Benjamin, The Origin of German Tragic Drama, p28-29

Stills from last draft

I have used aesthetic aproaches that evoke dissaperance .. fade in and out , playing with texture and fragility of the image.