In 2016 Outset Israel supported the production of Maya Zack’s new video work, Counterlight 2016 (24 minutes). This work is the third part of Maya Zack’s memory trilogy, following the award-winning films: Mother Economy and Black and White Rule. The video Counterlight is presented for the first time at Zack’s solo exhibition at the Tel Aviv Museum, also called Counterlight, curated by Nili Goren.
The exhibition presents for the first time Zack’s complete trilogy and includes videos, installation of sculptural elements, computer-generated images and drawings, exploring the relation between memory and history and raising questions about the feasibility of documentation, reconstruction and healing the rifts of the past.
Counterlight is a journey into the depths of consciousness that follows the traces of Romanian-boen Jewish poet Paul Celan (1920-1970), one of the most important poets of the modern post-modern era. A female archive researcher listens to extracts from original recordings by the poet and changes from an archivist into an alchemist. She dissects in an almost surgical manner the archival materials – photographs, maps, documents and poems – that will enable her to reconstruct the past and intervene it till the boundaries between reality and documentation, past and present are blurred. In a surrealistic process, she penetrates the space of an old street photograph of Czernowitz and meets Celan’s mother who is baking challah bread in her kitchen, until her task transforms into female magic which leads to the creation of the “memory-golem.”
In recent years, Zack researched Paul Celan’s world and creative proces through the female figures in his life, among them his mother who was murdered in a concentration camp. To these, she has interwoven images of death and birth and dedicated the film to the memory of her mother.
MAYA ZACK (b. 1976) is a multidisciplinary artist and lecturer at the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design. Her work, which incorporates video films, computerized visualizations, drawings and installations, seeks to reflect the relationship between history and remembrance through the examination of concepts of testimony and documentation and the feasibility of reconstructing the past.