Programme for the screening at International House, Philadephia 9 Nov at 7 pm

Wednesday, November 9, 2011 7pm

„The films are, on many levels, purely visual and acoustic experiences. What may be perceived as ‚incomprehensible‘ might be a reference to Jewish ritual therein, childhood experiences, as well as the common factor of appearing incomprehensible. This is a good thing: I would prefer to refer to this as something that makes the viewer pose questions, a sort of riddle.

Perhaps it’s a search for somewhere to call ‚home‘ in the films? (or is this merely my interpretation?) „Places“ are a significant theme, as is a lack thereof. Temples, mosques, or the sky (or “the heavens”?) in Mosaïc. This “heaven” is not something from another reality; it is something longed for, a physical striving upwards, or even delirium?

Places – the promised land is not to be found in Israel, but, on the contrary, in the Hermannstrasse, a refernce to Herman, the artist’s mother. A red sky appears unexpectantly for an instant, over-exposed sequences, and views looking upwards, and the little boy who paddles across the street. This place is anything but a concrete location, neither is it heaven or any of the many places the artist has spent time in. The issue is one of the transformation of where one lives, transformation through montage, multiple exposures, making things transparent, culminations of bringing elements together.

The act of viewing becomes a sense of wonder, marvel, fascination with colour and light. And a sense of wondering what the riddle is about… Heide Schlüpmann

Deborah Phillips , artist and filmmaker, is based in Berlin. She studied Fine Arts, Painting and Film in Italy, the USA and in Germany. Her films, predominately animated shorts on 16mm, have been shown at festivals around the world. Her work was part of the Goethe Institut programme „German Experimental Films of the 1990s“. She has also published several „artist’s books“, created a number of site-specific installations, and participated in numerous international group and solo exhibitions. She is also active as a translator and curator of and exhibitions film programs. Her films include: Untitled Colourmation (1991-1992), Three (1993), Bread (1994), Purim (1996), Santoor (1998), Geographie (1999), Mosaïc (2001), Noor (2003), 71 (2005), Capsicum (2008), HERMAN(N) (2011) & more in 2012. A complete list is at deborahsp.wordpress.com under „art“.

HERMAN(N)
2011, 16mm, 8 min., colour, silent
Although this part of Neukölln (a district in Berlin) has a reputation as a dangerous place, I see it, through golden late summer light, as an inviting place.
I have lived, for 10 years, on a side street of the Hermannstraße, first on the one side, then on the other. Gentrification has already commenced a few blocks north of where I live: there’s a gradual progression heading south on Hermannstraße; closer to Hermannplatz, things get busier. North of the famous square is as trendy as in many other parts of town now.
This is an attempt to make the different segments of this street palatable to viewers: it’s not a matter of relaying a message, but more a feeling of the place…

CAPSICUM
2008, 16mm, 8 min., colour, sound

I spent years as a girl fighting to be allowed to have a Bas Mitzvah and read from the Torah, like the boys. I was given a portion containing four weird lines about a perfect red heifer, out of context. I have, since then, identified with this cow. And I’ve thought about it while cooking, as an architectural student and as a woman who prefers blue to red…

71
Germany, 2005, 16mm, 8 min., colour, sound

«71» is guided by impressions and feelings of an artist during shooting: a feeling of absurdity that comes when one travels to the back of beyond without ever reaching anywhere.

NOOR
2003, 16mm, 6 min., colour, silent

NOOR or „Ner“ or light.
Light & colour induce hope.
This is composition reacting to a whinging zeitgeist, threatened with the
possibility of war.
A still-life in time, a means of having hope.
The Allam house in Esfahan was being renovated when we were there. It had
been damaged during the Iran-Iraq war.
Other footage was shot (super 8), in Berlin and in the Polish countryside.

BREAD
1994, 16mm, 4 min., colour, silent
Loosely based on Lewis Caroll’s Through the looking glass, BREAD is a series of metamorphoses. We pass through a table into a world of strange mutations: bread crumbs bounce and dance. At the end, gravity wins…

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