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VIDEO REWIND: Beryl Korot

— 'Dachau 1974', 1974

18 — 27 March 2017

Beryl Korot, 'Dachau 1974', 1974. Courtesy the artist

As part of 'VIDEO REWIND: A look back from early video works from the 1970s and 1980s', 'Dachau 1974' by Beryl Korot addresses the memory of places and shadows of history in a recent but still dark and murky past.

In 1974 I visited Dachau, the site of the former concentration camp. It seemed to me a very strange tourist site: very much cleaned up, tourists strolling thru the site, sometimes murmuring, sometimes playing with their children.

Having learned to weave months before, and interested in the multiple channel genre just developing, a video tapestry of Dachau emerged. The minimum number of threads necessary to bind a cloth is four. Paired channels (l and 3) and (2 and 4), though rhythmically different, formed the interlocking “thread” combinations of image and 1 second blanks as the work proceeded in time. This paired structure takes the viewer on a journey from outside the camp’s walls, passed guard towers, to the barracks and finally to the crematoria.

The blanks interrupt the narrative, allowing the identical images of each pair to appear at slightly different times. In its verbal silence, rigorous formalism and focus on the present, the work must ultimately engage the memory of the viewer to endow it with meaning.