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23 September 2013


video feature
A Virtual Memorial Vilnius 2013
Vilnius
The d/i/light Memorial
Shoah Film Collection

Vilnius


A Virtual Memorial Vilnius 2013 is one of the most comprehensive, complex, complicated and emotionally most exhausting projects Wilfried ever realized. It started already in 2012, when during A Virtual Memorial Riga 2012 he was invited to realize a similiar event 2013 in Vilnius. While in Riga, one of the problems was lying in the combination of an usual Latvian cultural organisation, in shape of NOASS and based on the Jewish organisation Shamir, the Riga Ghetto and Latvian Holocaust Museum, at that time, yet, under construction, in Vilnius Wilfried was collaborating directly with divers Jewish organisations as a non-Jew, generating continueously irritations on most different levels. One of them was, that the Lithuanian venue was realizing such an international project for the 1st time and was completely unexperienced, so that Wilfried was enforced to organise most local Vilnius based things from Cologne, so actually the organisation office was in Cologne and not Vilnius, and another problem was that the Lithianian organisation was not able to fund Wilfried’s project, the transport etc, but only expenses rising on location in Vilnius, thus this combination was very unfortunate, because by doing Wilfried had to learn, that no German or Western European organisation was prepared to fund a project coming from Germany to be realised and organised in Lithuania, nobody had done this before. And the same was good for private sponsors – nothing worked, Wilfried did not only feel, but the reaction of all people was typical – nobody wanted to be connected with a Jewish project, it was Jewish because it was related to the Holocaust and dedicated to the Lithuanian victims of the Holocaust, and the venues were Jewish organisations and institutions in Lithuania. For Wilfried it was shocking that he was confronted with so many hostile (anti-Semitic) reactions, not open, but hidden, so that the time was progressing without any signal, that this enterprise would be funded from the Western European side only with one single cent. Wilfried had been hesitating to ask the European Parliament again for taking the Patronage, but when he got the idea to try an alternative way of funding, eg. crowdfunding he asked in Brussels for the Patronage and luckily it took only 10 days, when the confirmation of the Patronage arrived in March 2013. From now on, he was working hard to set up a really good crowdfunding project, but…… the closer the deadline approached it became obvious that from the requested funding sum of 12000 Euro Wilfried did not even collect 1000 Euro (exactly 860 Euro), and nearly all financial contributions had come from the participating artists. On one hand, Wilfried was happy about this solidarity, on the other hand however absolutely desperate, and the combination of this (antisemtic) hostile reactions and the perspectives, that Wilfried was not able to recruit any money for the expensive installations to be exhibited in Vilnius were generating a kind of emotional stress, that Wilfried got the same symptoms like 1998 before he fell into the coma, high fever which did not want to decrease. And then it happened – the doctor told him one day, he would need to put Wilfried immediately for some days into an artificial coma. Break! Break! Luckily it did not last longer than one week, and Wilfried, who usually never is giving up, had to decide to cancel the event in Vilnius. When he got report from his Jewish partners in Lithuania, that their events are funded, and they would not need any additional money from Western sources, Wilfried made an unexpected step and decided, to realize his project without the requested money by using cheap and poor digital material instead of the artistic originals, because he had invested so much energy und emotions already, and he hoped that the people would appreciate his courage to realise this Jewish project under such unfortunate conditions. Yes, and then Wilfried started his travel to Vilnius with two suitcases, a small one for his clothes and the bigger one including the digital material for the exhibition in Vilnius. So, when Wilfried was caught at the airport by the director of the Jewish Center in Vilnius, he did at first not understand – he asked where the exhition is, and when Wilfried was pointing to the bigger suitcase, the director still did not understand, until Wilfried unpacked some hours later the suitcase in the cultural center. Really, even Wilfried was shocked about the poor looking exhibition material, consisting mainly of digital prints to be installed at the walls and DVD’s containing the video programs. And now, the exhibition is installed, and Wilfried is happy that he succeeded in overcoming all the incredible hurdles and when the door of the cultural center opens to welcome the Israeli ambassador in Baltic States Ms, Hagit Ben Yakov, who finally was solving all problems which were rising until the last second. It was her also in 2012 who finally made the event in Riga possible via her personal interventions, and in Vilnius it was even for her diplomatic status a real challenge, but reaching for the hand of Ms Ben Yakov is giving now Wilfried an incredible satisfaction – because against all odds, he is standing there ……..
A Virtual Memorial Vilnius 2013 is realized in Kedainiai, a small town close to Kaunas where one of the last surviving synagoges in Lithuania is located, serving nowadays as a cultural centre, which is partner of the event, and Vilnius including several venues – the Jewish Cultural Centre, Vilna Gaon State Jewish Museum with its Tolerance Centre, where Doron Polak will be performing in two days, and the St. Catherine’s Church, where a concert of Arturas Bumsteinas and his group of musicians is taking place performing a composition which is created for the occasion of the event – and then ….-A Virtual Memorial Vilnius 2013 is included into the World Litvak Congress (Litvak- Lithuanian Jews living outside of Lithuania), which is giving Wilfried’s event a particular dimension.
And then Wilfried is really happy when he is leading the Israeli Ambassador around pointing to the exeptional digital prints of Eitan Vitkon, which are showing experimental photografic works when he was accompanying the other Israeli artist Doron Polak with his performances. Yes, the installation of the exhibition is poor in the sense, that there are no expensive frames or decoration, so the director of the Contemporary Art Center nearby is complaining this poverty, but the event is rich due to the artistic substance and the hearts and the emotions of the involved people, besides Wilfried – 13 artists attending and participating in the Symposium running for the next 4 days.
One thing, however had become clear, and the doctors advised Wilfried to be very careful, that the event in Vilnius will remain singular and he will not organise another exhausting event like that – for his health sake!

transparent_pdf A Virtual Memorial Vilnius 2013 – catalogue for download

A Virtual Memorial Vilnius 2013


A Virtual Memorial Vilnius 2013 – is running between 23 September and 29 October 2013, between 24 and 27 September the Symposium is taking place, and between 28 September and 29 October 2020, the daily screenings – the program is composed of videos from the Shoah Film Collections, which is shown in Vilnius and Kedainiai for the 1st time completely, and the world premiere of CologneOFF IX – the new festival edition to be launched on occasion of A Virtual Memorial Vilnius 2013.

On occasion of the relaunch of a Virtual Memorial Vilnius today, 23 September 2020, the ALPHABET @ The New Museum of Networked Art is starting its weeks of Holocaust Remembrance (23 Sept. – 15 November 2020) by presenting @ Cinema S– the first of several selections from Shoah Film Collection @ The d/i/light Memorial

Enter ALPHABET Cinema here

About


vilnius514_agricola_jcci

A Virtual Memorial Vilnius 2013 is a media art project by Wilfried Agricola de Cologne, media artist aund curator from Cologne/Germany starting in 2013. It is the physical and virtual manifestation of his project “Draft Title: Shoah featuring Shoah Film Collection”, including the preparations for the physical event during Agricola de Cologne’s residency in Vilnius 10-28 September 2013, the realisation of the physical event – 23 Sept-29 Oct 2013 in Vilnius and Kedainiai including creating the virtual presence, and the post-event era forming the project online to become the virtual memorial including Vilnius as a place for Jewish life and the manifestation of “A Virtual Memorial”. The project is dedicated to the victims of Vilna Ghetto and Nazism.

In this way, “A Virtual Memorial Vilnius 2013” became a common project of all participating artists, the involved hosting instances, the supporters and the audience. Depending on their involvement, each of them has a more or less individual active function, resulting a common media art project, which would not have happened or exist without them. One might speak, they were the tools for creating the physical and virtual art work.

The exhibition as a form of an intervention on location in Vilnius had the meaning to represent the physical conceptual framework of the art work, eg. A Virtual Memorial Vilnius 2013. Although this framework was consisting of several components provided by different creators (artists), it was not an art exhibition in this sense that different artworks by individual artists would have been traditionally installed at an exhibition space. The exhibition had the intention to give background information about “A Virtual Memorial Vilnius 2013″ as a kind of community or network based art work, whereby “community” is not only related to the communities of hosts, holders and artists, but basically also the “unknown” component, eg. the audience to be activated. The exhibition had its relevance in representing the conceptual framework as a condition for such a kind of activation. While the material presentation of the exhibition was suffering from the lack of funding, the concept of the exhibition prepared for a non-art-related space didn’t. This space had been transformed into a space of art because the institution hosting the art project of “A Virtual Memorial Vilnius 2013″ made the building a part of the art project, which became, this way, an object of contemporary art. By being a corporate part of the art project, the place as a reconstructed building was standing for the entire former Ghetto and the Jewish settling area of Vilnius and the entire history of Jewish life starting from the first Jewish settlers centuries ago. For the art project itself, exactly this was the conceptual condition, and this was including also some physical, technical and technological restrictions, which did not make the space a perfect space of art in the sense of a museum or gallery space, but an art space in terms how authenticity has been transmitted via reconstructing. Especially the building of the Jewish Culture and Information Center is just generating an image of autheticity and was in this sense, already only virtual, only as an art object, as a part of a superordinated art project it became physically authentical. Probably in whole Vilnius there was no better place for being transformed to “A Virtual Memorial Vilnius 2013″.


A Virtual Memorial Vilnius 2013
23 September – 29 October 2013
standing under the Patronage of the European Parliament

kedainiai-synagoge_03is the manisfestation of SFC – Shoah Film Collection in Lithuania at the two venues Vilnius (23 Sept – 27 Oct 2013) , & Kedainiai (02-29 Oct 2013) realized in partnership between Vilnius Jewish Culture & Information Center, Municipality of Vilnius, Vilna Gaon State Jewish Museum,Kedainiai Regional Museum and artvideoKOELN, directed and curated by Wilfried Agricola de Cologne.

TC_outside1_03By taking Patronage over A Virtual Memorial Vilnius 2013 , the European Parliament is honouring SFC – Shoah Film Collection as a worldwide unique initiative by Wilfried Agricola de Cologne addressed to young generations of artists and film makers to deal with the topic of Shoah and collective trauma caused by totalitarianism, by using new technologies and contemporary approaches in order keep vivid the memory and sensitize and activate the artists, as well as the audience via art.

Doron_polak_at_ToleranceA Virtual Memorial Vilnius 2013 was additionally embedded in the celebrations of the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of Vilna Ghetto ( 23 September 1943) and the 4th World Litvak Congress (Litvak=Lithuanian Jew) running at the same time (22-25 September 2013) in Vilnius and many other Lithuanian places. In this way, as the Presence A Virtual Memorial Vilnius 2013 was rooted on the historical context of this commemoration (Past), as well as in the future orientated international meeting for finding proper ways to transfer the memory of the collective trauma to future generations (Future).

g.v.01_07Vilnius was chosen as a place for the interventions due to the relevance of the city for Jewish life in the Eastern part of Europe for many centuries, it has many names like Jerusalem of the North or Rome of The East, giving evidence to be a center of religious life far beyond the national boarders of Lithuania. The Ghetto of Vilnius 1941-1943 got a very doubtful fame, since thousands of Lithuanian Jews had been killed or deported to Auschwitz and other death camps. the 23rd of September 1943, eg the liquidation of the Vilna Ghetto got a particular relevance and is nowadays the national commemoration day for The Holocaust in Lithuania, thus the date of the inauguration of “A Virtual Memorial Vilnius 2013”, which incorporated this way the commenoration of the entire Jewsih life in Lithuania from the very beginning centuries ago, it destruction is just a few months during the Nazi occupation and its revival after the fall of the Communist systems until these days.

The project realized in Vilnius as the manifestation of diverse artistic interventions and its presence online is a unique document of an artist’s initiative from Germany for a reconciation between between European peoples and Future in Peace in Europe and the rest of the world.

The media art project “A Virtual Memorial Vilnius 2013” will continue to be an active project due to its status as a public memorial site in Internet, but it is also the conceptual intention to let further, but different physical and virtual manifestations happen.


.
.
Agricola de Cologne (Cologne/Germany)
is a multidisciplinary media artist and curator living and working in Cologne/Germany .
He had more than 100 solo exhibitions in cooperation with 80 museums in Europe, South America and USA, he is participating since 2000 in more than 500 media exhibitions and festivals around the globe. His media art works received numerous prizes and awards.

http://agricola-de.cologne

Contact information

Program

a.v.p.02_09


A Virtual Memorial Vilnius 2013
under the Patronage of European Parliament
@ Jewish Culture & Information Center Vilnius
Vilna Gaon State Jewish Museum
Kedainiai Regional Museum

associated with 4th World Litvak Conference
20-25 September 2013 in Vilnius

Symposium/Meeting
23-26 September 2013
daily 10h-19h – moderated by Wilfried Agricola de Cologne

23 September – Inauguration
10h Inauguration, opening of exhibition – screening special selection from SFC
14h Start: Introducing lecture by Wilfried Agricola de Cologne
15h – 17h Presentations: Shelley Jordon (USA), Cristiano Berti (Italy), Felice Hapetzeder (Swe)
17h – 19h talks/discussions/screenings
Internet conference: interviews with Heike Liss,(USA), David R. Burns (USA), Menachem Kaiser (USA)

24 September – Collective Trauma
10h – 14h talks/discussions/screenings
– Internet conference – Royal University of Phnom Penh – “Looking Back” films about genocide in Cambodia, interview with the Cambodian directors
– Interview with Sopheak Sao (Cambodia), director of “The Survivor”
14h – 17h Presentations: Annetta Kapon (USA), Dova Cahan (Israel), Doris Neidl (Austria)
17h – 19h talks/discussions/screenings – Internet conference: interviews with Jay Needham USA), Angela Aguayo (USA) , Ben Neufeld (USA)

25 September – Israel Day
10h-14h talks/discussions/screenings
Internet conference: interviews – Jasmine Kainy, Shahar Marcus, Omer Ginzburg (all Israel)
presentation: Michael Lazar (Israel)
14h – Tolerance Center/Vilna Gaon State Jewish Museum: performance by Doron Polak
15h-17h presentations: Eitan Vitkon, Doron Polak, Ariel Yannay Shani (all from Israel)
17h-19h talks /discussions /screenings

video
26 September – Finalization
10h -14h: talks/discussions/screenings
– Danute Selcinskaja presents film by Lilia Kopac (Lithuania) – The Pit of Life and Torment, 2013, 62:00 – produced by Vilna Gaon State Jewish Museum – to be attended by Lilia Kopac, director and Faina Kukliansky
– Internet conference: interviews with Istvan Horkay (Hungary), Isabelle Rozenbaum (France) & Andrea Nevi (Italy)
14h-17h presentations: Marcantonio Lunardi (Italy), Joseph Rabie (F), Jacob J. Podber (USA)
17h-19h final talks/discussions /screenings

19h finalization @ St. Catherine’s Church: soundart performance by Arturas Bumsteinas & Wolumen Trio (Lithuania)

Exhibitions @
Jewish Culture & Information Center Vilnius
23 Sept – 29 Oct 2013
How Memory Survives
featuring
Peeling – experimental photography by Eitan Vitkon
and participants in the installation
Paolo Bonfiglio, Shelley Jordon, Tammy Mike Laufer, Ariel Yannay Shani & Agricola de Cologne
& the entire Shoah Film Collection

Shoah Film Collection & Collective Trauma Film Collections
@ Jewish Culture and Information Center Vilnius
screenings 27 Sept-29 Oct 2013

Exhibition @ Kedainiai District Museum
Multicultural center

1-29 October 2013 – screening of
Shoah Film Collection & Collective Trauma Film Collections

Inauguration

Opening

After A Virtual Memorial Riga 2012,
A Virtual Memorial Vilnius 2013
was a next pilot project on the way of finding an ideal presentation of Shoah Film Collection to an audience by placing the films of the collection into complementary interventions like the screenings, an exhibition, lectures, a symposium, performances, concerts, artists presentations, talks and discussions in order to establish a dialogue between the artworks/artists and the audience and activate both.

JCIC_outside1_480The manifestation in Vilnius was consisting of two main components, the interventions are embedded in
The symposium – 23-26 October 2013 and
The exhibition – 23 Sept – 27 Oct 2013 at Jewish Culture and Information Center Vilnius, Vilna Gaon State Jewish Museum & St. Catherine’s Church and 02-29 October at Kedainiai Regional Museum.

It was the Israeli Embassy (located in Riga) who was inviting to the inauguration of “A Virtual Memorial Vilnius 2013 scheduled on 23 September 2013, 10.a.m as a private view to be attended by honoraries from the Vilnius based embassies like the ambassadors and cultural attachés of Sweden, Austria and Switzerland, Finland, Italy, the municipality of Vilnius, as well as local cultural institutions,, and of course the attending Shoah Film Collection artists.vilnius205_sel_opening_07 Like 2012 in Riga, it was also in Vilnius her Excellency Ms. Hagit Ben Yaakov, ambassador of Israel, (third from left – image below), who started the series of introducing words explaining the relevance of art for the remembrance of the Holocaust, followed by Algis Gurevicus, head of Jewish Culture and Information Center and Wilfried Agricola de Cologne, the creator and curator of Shoah Film Collection, who gave an a short introduction to the complex artistic project context of Shoah Film Collection and the relevance of “moving images” as a vehicle to transport collective memory to the future.

vilnius203_sel_thanks_smallThe opening was suffering from another event taking place at the same time – 4th World Litvak Conference – a gathering of Jews whose family roots are lying in Lithuania. The opening day was full of official appointments, so that luckily the opening at 10h was the first one on that very day, causing many diplomatic officials to come and others don’t.
v.op._09The dates of the conference as well as the private view (opening) was chosen, because 23 September (the day of the liquidation of Vilna Ghetto – 23 Sept 1943) is the national Lithuanian commemoration day of the (Lithuanian) victims of Holocaust.

vilnius_space_01Like in Riga 2012, also the private view in Vilnius was at the same time the official opening of the exhibitions in the upper and the underground gallery at The Jewish Culture and Information Center. While in the upper gallery, the presentation and documentation of Shoah Film Collection was exhibitioned, as well as art works giving background information abot the making of.. of some of the films included in Shoah Film Collection – Paolo Bonfiglio, Shelley Jordon, Tammy Mike Laufer, Grace Graupe Pillard and Agricola de Cologne2013-09-20 11.27.53_02the undeground gallery was reservede for the exhibition of experimental photographs by Eitan Vitkon (Israel) and in the confrence space downstairs also a selection of films from Shoah Film Collection was projected.

_02Also in Vilnius, Agricola de Cologne served a guided to the diplomatic audience of the private view, starting upstairs explaining the history of the project and artistic concepts behind the event, the film collection and individual films. The attending artists had the chance to start a discussion with the visitors. While the upper gallery had a newly renovated character, the underground space was more authentical, therefore the photographs by Eitan Vitkon fit excellently in the oppressive atmosphere. The same character had also the space which was used for the symposium and the video screenings, ideal for getting the imagination of authenticy from Vilna Ghetto making a bit depressive, so that everybody was glad to leave the space as soon as possible.

Later, at 14h the exhibition was open to the public when the symposium and artists meeting started ath the underground conference space, overwhelming arists and audience through the oppressive atmosphere.

Symposium

Symposium


vilnius_artists_all_02

1. Agricola de Cologne, Cristiano Berti, Marcantonio Lunardi, Josef Rabie, Annetta Kapon
2. Shelley Jordon, Felice Hapetzeder, Doris Neidl, Dova Cahan, Arturas Bumsteinas
3. Doron Polak, Eitak Vitkon, Ariel Yannay Shani, Jacob J. Podber

The second major field of interventions was representing the symposium and artists meeting open to the local Lithuanian and international audience. Compared with the previous event in Riga 2012, the sysmposium in Vilnius had a much wider conceptual and artistic dimension. Moderated by Wilfried Agricola de Cologne, it was located at the JCIC Vilnius downstairs at the cellar, which was representing quite an appropriate place for the topic of Shoah, but it was really close to claustrophobia, and probably one reason, why the local Lithuanians were hesitating to join.
As the public opening of A Virtual Memorial Vilnius 2013, the symposium started on 23 September 2.p.m, when Wilfried Agricola de Cologne war holding his introducing lecture explaining his personal motivations to deal with the Holocaust as an artistic topic and the personal and global conditions to start his project “SFC – Shoah Film Collection. This lecture, as well as many of the following artists’ contributions were recorded on video and will be published online.

JCIC_Basement1The 13 attending artists played that essential role, not only as presenters of their own works, but as audience, as well, either via their personal presentations or visually present via the interviews during Internet conferences, moderated by Wilfried Agricola de Cologne. Via SKYPE, it was possible to connect additional artists and film directors from Cambodia, USA, Israel, France, Hungary making clear that collective trauma caused by totalitarianism is not just a matter of IMG_2510_01the Holocaust solely, but is affecting most people on all continents, even if the geographical, ethical, religious, cultural conditions may be completely different from each other. The Internet conference with the directors of the films dealing with the Cambodian genocide made this particularly evident.
A Virtual Memorial Vilnius 2013 – became really that memorial on the final day when Danute Selcinskaja, curator at Vilna Gaon State Jewish Museum presenting the documentary about the Lithuanian children’s rescue during the Nazi occupation and the SKYPE conference with Moshe Kukliansky from Tel‐Aviv, one of the children who survived. This was one of the most touching moments of the whole event.
The symposium can be considered as an artistic actions, which was underlined as such when the artists gathered outside of the official hours before and after the symposium, at the hotel, cruising through Vilnius on the Jewish traces or in one of the restaurants or cafe’s. While this part of the artistic concept went very well, a lack was, however, that Lithuanian artists did not join, and one might speculate why. So, the expected and conceptually wanted exchange with local artists and intellectuals did not happen, unfortunately.

Symposium

@ Jewish Culture & Information Center Vilnius
23-26 September 2013
daily 10h-19h – moderated by Wilfried Agricola de Cologne

23 September – Inauguration
10h Inauguration, opening of exhibition – screening special selection from SFC
14h Start: Introducing lecture by Wilfried Agricola de Cologne
15h – 17h Presentations:Cristiano Berti (Italy), Felice Hapetzeder (Swe)
17h – 19h talks/discussions/screenings
Internet conference: interviews with Heike Liss,(USA), Menachem Kaiser (USA)

24 September – Collective Trauma
10h – 14h talks/discussions/screenings
– Internet conference – Royal University of Phnom Penh – “Looking Back” films about genocide in Cambodia, interview with the Cambodian directors
– Interview with Sopheak Sao (Cambodia), director of “The Survivor”
14h – 17h Presentations: Annetta Kapon (USA), Dova Cahan (Israel), Doris Neidl (Austria)
17h – 19h talks/discussions/screenings – Internet conference: interviews with Jay Needham USA), Angela Aguayo (USA) , Ben Neufeld (USA)

25 September – Israel Day
10h-14h talks/discussions/screenings
Internet conference: interviews –Jasmine Kainy & Shahar Marcus (all Israel)
presentation: Michael Lazar (Israel)
15h-17h presentations: Eitan Vitkon, Doron Polak, Ariel Yannay Shani (all from Israel)
17h-19h talks /discussions /screenings

26 September – Finalization
10h -14h: talks/discussions/screenings
Danute Selcinskaja presents film by Lilia Kopac (Lithuania) – The Pit of Life and Torment, 2013, 62:00 – produced by Vilna Gaon State Jewish Museum – to be attended by Lilia Kopac, director and Faina Kukliansky
– Internet conference: interviews with Istvan Horkay (Hungary), Isabelle Rozenbaum (France) & Andrea Nevi (Italy)
14h-17h presentations: Marcantonio Lunardi (Italy), Joseph Rabie (F), Jacob J. Podber (USA)
17h-19h final talks/discussions /screenings

1

Symposium day 1
2

Symposium day 2
3

Symposium day 3
4

Symposium day 4

The Exhibition


The exhibitions (performative interventions) had four components:

0

Crowdfunding campaign @ Indigogo
11 June – 22 July 2013
10

The exhibition & screenings (23 Sept – 27 Oct 2013)
@ JCIC Vilnius
2

Performance Doron Polak (25 September 2013)
@ Tolerance Center/Vilna Gaon State Jewish Museum
3

Performance Arturas Bumsteinas (26 September 2013)
@ St. Catherine’s Church
4

Exhibition & screening Shoah Film Collection (1 -29 Oct 2013)
@ Kedainiai Regional Museum

JCIC_outside2The inauguration was finalized when Agricola de Cologne was inviting the private view visitors to a guided tour through the exhibition installed at the two floors of Jewish Culture and Information Center. As an intervention itself in the frame-work of “A Virtual Memorial Vilnius 2013, the exhibition is consisting of a variety of integrated interventional components, including the representation of vilnius284_TC_01“Shoah Film Collection” & “A Virtual Memorial Vilnius 2013” together with the attending participants. The screenings of the films in Vilnius & Kedainiai have a particular relevance, because a wide range of programs related to collective and individual memory including Shoah Film Collection are presented in Vilnius as the launch of 9th Cologne International Videoart Festival. a.v.s.c._03In Vilnius, the screening of the films are complemented by the exhibition of photographs by Eitan Vitkon (Israel) using experimental techniques for visualizing Doron Polak’s Riga performances, prints (Paolo Bonfiglio (italy), Shelley Jordon (USA), Tammy Mike Laufer Israel”, and Grace Graupe Pillard, DCF 1.0giving the viewer background information about the “making of” of their films included in SFC, and the original installation “Silent Cry” by Wilfried Agricola de Cologne, not to forget the installation of three interactive works by Ariel Yannay-Shani, Joseph Rabie and Agricola de Cologne, running from computers and the 18 screening programs of the entire film collection running on a couple of computers independently from the daily screenings at JCIC Vilnius, but the (visual art) performance by Doron Polak on 25 Sept 2013 and the electro-acoustic performance by Arturas Bumsteinas and Wolumen Trio on 26 Sept. 2013 belongs to that, as well demonstrating how artists using these artistic media for dealing with the remembrance of the Holocaust. In total, a diversity of aspects how artists deal with the topic of Shoah can be experienced by an audience who is curious of the unexpected and not-yet-known.

Exhibitions

0

indigogo_camp_2013a

This campaing in June/July 2013 has an ambivalent value, it was less successful in the sense, that it did not reach the funding goal, however, it was successful in any other sense. It was a kind of public preview before the actual event in Vilnius was taking place reaching a global audience.

1

vilnius_exhibition_01

The exhibition as a form of an intervention on location in Vilnius had the meaning to represent the physical conceptual framework of the art work, eg. A Virtual Memorial Vilnius 2013. Although this framework was consisting of several components provided by different creators (artists), it was not an art exhibition in this sense that different artworks by individual artists would have been traditionally installed at an exhibition space. The exhibition had the intention to give background information about “A Virtual Memorial Vilnius 2013” as a kind of community or network based art work, whereby “community” is not only related to the communities of hosts, holders and artists, but basically also the “unknown” component, eg. the audience to be activated. The exhibition had its relevance in representing the conceptual framework as a condition for such a kind of activation. The material presentation of the exhibition was suffering from the lack of funding, but not the concept of the exhibition prepared for a non-art-related space. This space had been transformed into a space of art because the institution hosting the art project of “A Virtual Memorial Vilnius 2013” made the building not only a part of the art project, which became, this way, an object of contemporary art. By being a corporate part of the art project, the place as a reconstructed building was standing for the entire former Ghetto and the Jewish settling area of Vilnius and the entire history of Jewish life starting from the first Jewish settlers centuries ago. For the art project itself, exactly this was the conceptual condition, and this was including also some physical, technical and technological restrictions, which did not make the space a perfect space of art in the sense of a museum or gallery space, but a perfect space in terms how authenticity has been transmitted via reconstructing. Especially the building of the Jewish Culture and Information Center was just generating an image of autheticity and was in this sense, already only virtual, only as an art object, as a part of a superordinated art project it became physically authentical. Probably in whole Vilnius there was no better place for being transformed to “A Virtual Memorial Vilnius 2013”.

—>Exhibition II (Shoah Film Collection)
—>Exhibition III – upper & basement gallery

2

Performance by Doron Polak @ Tolerance Center/Vilna Gaon State Jewish Museum
TC0925_21=2

3

Performance – electro-acustic music – Arturas Bumsteinas & Wolumen Trio @ St. Catherine’s Church Vilnius

Arturas Bumšteinas is composer of experimental electronic and acoustic music and sound-artist with projects presented in festival, exhibitions and variuos events all over the world. He is also a founding member of ensembles Quartet Twentytwentyone, Wolumen, Zarasai (with Anton Lukoszevieze), Works & Days. His radiophonic work was awarded the Palma Ars Acustica award by European Broadcasting Union. His music is documented in dozen of releases by various European record labels. He lives in Vilnius and Berlin.

Wolumen Trio
Arturas Bumšteinas – synthesizers, idea
Dominykas Vyšniauskas – trumpet, shofar
Kamil Szuszkiewicz – trumpet, shofar

Wolumen Trio play music inspired by “Musikaliszer Pinkos”
(A.M.Berenstein 1927, Wilna)

Wolumen Trio play music inspired by “Musikaliszer Pinkos” – a collection of more than two hundred Hebrew religious hymns and Chassidic songs compiled and published by A.M.Berenstein in the year 1927 in Wilna. The selection of songs from “Musikaliszer Pinkos” is being re-constructed by Wolumen Trio in a new context of electronic art-music and free improvisation. The concert is presented as a 6-channel surround situation which enables audience members to immerse themselves into the minute details of melody and harmony. Duration of the whole concert is around one hour.
http://www.refusenik.org/works-by-year/2013-2/musikaliszer-pinkos/

4

Exhibition @ screening of Shoah Film Collection and Collective Trauma Film Collections in Kedainiai

Venues

Organisation

The organisation and the event had different venues – Cologne and Vilnius.

The headquaters of basic organisation was Cologne executed by Wilfried Agricola de Cologne, who was not only developing the concepts for the events in Lithuania, preparing the exhibitions, but also was coordinating the different partners and their activities in the context of “A Virtual Memorial Vilnius 2013”. For the partof of activities @ Jewish Culture & Information Center, its director Algis Gurevicius was responsible, for instance, also the inclusion of AVM Vilnkius 2013 in 4th World Litvak Congress (20-25 October 2013)
lit-con-01-_02
In Lithuania, there were different places as venues – Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania – and – Kedainiai, a small town close to Kaunas, which was chosen as a venue, because in Kedainiai there is one of a few synagogues surviving the German occupation & World War II,
the former synagogue is now part of the Regional Museum of Kedainiai as a multicultural center.

Also in Vilnius were several venues for different types of events:

1. JCIC – Jewish Culture and Information Center
2. Vilna Gaon State Jewish Museum
3. St. Catherine’s Church
3. Synagogue Kedainiai

Jewish Culture & Information Center

JCIC_Basement2 The Jewish Culture & Information Center is the main venue and the central meeting point of A Virtual Memorial Vilnius 2013, the place where most Interventions start to take place during the event days in Vilnius.
It was hosting the symposium on 24-26 September 2013 with the lectures , artists presentations & talks, discussions, starting at 10h and closing on 19h, as well as the exhibitions and screenings to be inaugurated on 23 September 2013, it was organising the concert by Arturas Bumsteinas (Lithuania) as an intervention @ a.v.s.c._02 St. Catherines’s Church on 26 Septmeber 2013, a concert hall runn by the municipalily of Vilnius. Didysis herbas_su tekstu VMS_CMYK The acoustics are excellent, and the venue is used for cultural events, as well as for rehearsals and concerts of the Šv. Kristoforo kamerinis orkestras, the choir “Jauna muzika” , the boys’ and young people’s choir “Ąžuoliukas” and other artistic collectives and performers.

The Vilnius Jewish Culture and Information Center is a not-for-profit organization established by Vilnius municipality. It is located in the former Jewish quarter in the old town of Vilnius and offers information about the Jewish past of Vilnius. Algis Gurevicius was acting the director of JCIC.

transparent_pdf A Virtual Memorial Vilnius 2013 – catalogue for download


artvideoKOELN international
the international curatorial initiative “art & moving images”

Founded in 2010 by Agricola de Cologne as the operations platform for his curatorial activitiesw in the field of “art & moving images”, artvideoKOELN is running the film and video art activities like
CologneOFF – Cologne International Videoart Festival which was represented in Vilnius via a selection of the recent festival program, and the associated platforms like VideoCHANNEL, VIP – VideoCHANNEL Interview Project, VAD – Video Art Database and Draft Title: Shoah

http://artvideo.koeln

Tolerance Hall @ Vilna Gaon Jewish State Museum
Established in 1913 and re-established in 1991 as a state museum, the museum has the mission to collect, preserve, recreate and exhibit the material and spiritual heritage of Lithuanian Jews with the aim to fill the vast cultural gap in the narrative of Lithuanian history and the worldview of its inhabitants resulting from the totalitarian regimes of the 20th century.
To enhance and cherish democratic and humanitarian values in society, based on the examples of global Jewish history and the tragedy of the Holocaust in Lithuania and Europe.
To offer foreign tourists an opportunity to get better acquainted with the history of the Lithuanian Jews.
To broaden visitors’ (especially young individuals’) horizons by focussing on the history of Lithuanian Jews.
toleranceCTo reflect the changes in the political and cultural environment in the light of historic precedents and modern cultural needs by organising respective events and exhibitions. To broaden society’s horizons and to enhance its sensitivity to the feasible dangers faced by modern democracies.
To introduce society to famous Jews of Lithuanian descent who played an important role in Lithuanian and world history, culture and art.
Kopac_EN_POSTER[1]_600To develop the artistic taste of visitors by offering opportunities to get acquainted with the unique works of talented Jewish artists, including paintings, music and literature.
To strive for a memorable dialogue with different generations in society by invoking various forms of modern discourse, including a variety of opportunities offered by modern museology.

The museum is and was participating in two concern, hosting the performance by Doron Polak @ the Tolerance Hall (where events of different kind are orghanised) and taking actively part in Shoah Film Collection by providing the documentary film by Lilia Kopac (Lithuania) – The Pit of Life and Torment, 2013, 60:00, which again is not only documenting the Jewish children rescue during the Nazi era, but also the magnificent museum department dedicated to the Jewish children rescue curated by Danute Selcinskaja, who is a most valuable advisor for Shoah Film Collection.

http://www.jmuseum.lt/

Kedainiu muziejaus logotipasKedainia Regional Museum
Multi Cultural Center
The second Lithuanian city involved in “A Virtual Memorial Vilnius 2013” was Kedainiai and its Regional Museum hosting the Multicultural Centre established in a former Small Winter synagogue of the 19th c. was opened in 2002. Interior2In the Centre, there is an exposition about the Jewish community in Kėdainiai and the Holocaust. The Centre organizes various cultural events, concerts of jazz and professional music, exhibitions and seminars. The Centre also implements an educational and club activity. The Center was exhibiting and scereening the films of Shoah Film Collection between 1-29 October 2013. The copies of “Shoah Film Collection” were given to the museum as a donation.

http://www.kedainiumuziejus.lt/

The organisation was supported by the Israeli Embassy in Riga, US Embassy in Vilnius, the Austrian Embassy in Vilnius, the Swedish Embassy in Vilnius, the UK Embassy in Vilnius, Instituto Italiano Vilnius & Institut Francais Vilnius, which all had their individual part of organisation.

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The d/i/light Memorial - Shoah Film Collection

The d/i/light Memorial
100 artists commemorate the Holocaust
artists against Anti-Semitism, Racism & Intolerance

d/i/light is standing for – Darkness Into Light.

The Memorial site is incorporating two commemorative media art contexts – the first one, entitled – A Living Memorial Spaces of Art 1995-198 – Memorial Project against the Forgetting, Racism, Xenophobia and ant-Semitism, initiated and realized by Agricola de Cologne as an individual artist – premiered in 1995 in Cologne and installed afterwards in 42 venues in Poland, Czech Republik, Belgium and Germany.

The darkness is not only related to the Holocaust and the light to the victims who enter the light via commemorating, but also to the fact, that Agricola de Cologne’s first project juxtaposing the historical Holocaust with the history of Nazism and Neo-Fascism was destroyed in a politically rightwing motivated attack (vandalism) in autumn 1998. The remnants of the destruction became a memorial for itself, also for destroyed illusions. The artist and his artwork – now the victims of own artistic aims – had become late victims of the Holocaust. The light is that after a coma lasting many months, the artist re-emerged, and in the year 2000 began a new life as an artist and as a human without the burden of memory.

The second project – another attempt to search and research for new ways for commemorating the Holocaust and the millions of victims via artistic concepts – was launched 15 years later, on 27 January 2010, based on the meanwhile renown “Shoah Film Collection, which differently than the first project is realized in the social context of a community, when the artist is simultaneously also a curator and a mediator in different ways – incorporating more 100 art films and videos – artists from 30 countries commemorate the Holocaust and show face against Anti-Semitism, Racism & Intolerance.

The d/i/light Memorial is unthinkable without the European history dominated by the German Nazi (1933-1945), but also without another part of German history, the erection (1961) and the fall of the Berlin Wall (1989), The German “Re-Unification (1990) and the collapse of the Communist system afterwards – it was the latter, however which was motivating Agricola de Cologne to do the first steps of researching for his coming mobile Memorial ” A Living Memorial Spaces of Art”, and only through its destruction 1998, 15 years later “Shoah Film Collection” had been possible as an initiative addressed to young artists generations in order to become the basis of The d/i/light Memorial. So, the history of the memorial is deeply rooted in the history of the 20th and early 21st century, and is therefore representing a memorial site in a classical sense.

The Holocaust, also known as the Shoah, was the World War II genocide of the European Jews. Between 1941 and 1945, across German-occupied Europe, Nazi Germany and its collaborators systematically murdered some six million Jews, around two-thirds of Europe’s Jewish population. The murders were carried out in pogroms and mass shootings; by a policy of extermination through labour in concentration camps; and in gas chambers and gas vans in German extermination camps, chiefly Auschwitz, Bełżec, Chełmno, Majdanek, Sobibór, and Treblinka in occupied Poland.

Germany implemented the persecution in stages. Following Adolf Hitler’s appointment as Chancellor on 30 January 1933, the regime built a network of concentration camps in Germany for political opponents and those deemed “undesirable”, starting with Dachau on 22 March 1933. After the passing of the Enabling Act on 24 March,[7] which gave Hitler plenary powers, the government began isolating Jews from civil society, which included a boycott of Jewish businesses in April 1933, and enacting the Nuremberg Laws in September 1935. On 9–10 November 1938, eight months after Germany annexed Austria, Jewish businesses and other buildings were ransacked, smashed or set on fire throughout Germany and Austria during what became known as Kristallnacht (the “Night of Broken Glass”). After Germany invaded Poland in September 1939, triggering World War II, the regime set up ghettos to segregate Jews from the rest of the population. Eventually thousands of camps and other detention sites were established across German-occupied Europe.

The segregation of Jews in ghettos culminated in the policy of extermination the Nazis called the “Final Solution to the Jewish Question”, discussed by senior Nazi officials at the Wannsee Conference in Berlin in January 1942. As German forces captured territories in the East, all anti-Jewish measures were radicalized. Under the coordination of the SS, with directions from the highest leadership of the Nazi Party, killings were committed within Germany itself, throughout occupied Europe, and within territories controlled by Germany’s allies. Paramilitary death squads called Einsatzgruppen, in cooperation with the German Army and local collaborators, murdered around 1.3 million Jews in mass shootings and pogroms between 1941 and 1945. By mid-1942, victims were being deported from ghettos across Europe in sealed freight trains to extermination camps where, if they survived the journey, they were worked to death or gassed. The killing continued until the end of World War II in Europe in May 1945.

The European Jews were targeted for extermination as part of a larger event during the Holocaust era, usually defined as beginning in January 1933,[8] in which Germany and its collaborators persecuted and murdered other groups, including Slavs (chiefly ethnic Poles, Soviet citizens, and Soviet prisoners of war), the Roma, the “incurably sick”, political and religious dissenters, and gay men.[d] The death toll of these groups is thought to rise to 11 million.


Draft Title: Shoah
is an artistic tribute to the victims of Holocaust by the Cologne based media artist Wilfried Agricola de Cologne, an ongoing media art project realized in an open concept at the same time online and offline. The conceptual center is representing –>

SFC _ Shoah Film Collection – a worldwide unique media art and peace initiative addressed to young generations of artists and film makers to deal with the topic of SHOAH (Holocaust) and collective trauma caused by totalitarianism by using new technologies and contemporary approaches in art. Founded in 2009, and launched on 27 January 2010 (International Holocaust Memorial Day) by Wilfried Agricola de Cologne, SFC is currently incorporating more than 100 outstanding works of art & moving images (experimental films, videoart and documentaries)

For the presentation of Shoah Film Collection to a wider audience, a specific event structure has been founded in 2012 by Wilfried Agricola de Cologne,, entitled: A Virtual Memorial – Commemorative Interventions – placing SFC into complementary audience related interventions like lectures, a symposion, exhibitions, concerts, workshops, artists talks, discussions and much more.

Since 2012, manifestations of SFC have been taken place in Riga, Vilnius, Warsaw and Milan under the Patronage of the “European Parliament”, and additional manifestations 2011 in St. Petersburg (Russia), Szeczin (Poland), Arad (Romania) and Mexico City (Mexico), 2012 in Phnom, Penh (Cambodia) & Warsaw (Poland), 2014 in Tel-Aviv (Israel), Timisoara (Romania) and Moscow Russia).

Details on ” A Virtual Memorial – International Center for Commemorative Interventions”
http://avmci.a-virtual-memorial.org

In 2017, Shoah Film Collection has been completed after reaching the number of 100 incorporated audiovisual works. The collection and initiative had ben transformed to “d/i/light Memorial” as a relevant contribution to keep vividd the memory of the Holocaust and a dynamic context to presented in physical space, as well, again and again.

in 2018, “d/l/light Memorial” became corporate part of the media art context at firtstThe Never More! Memorials “The 7 Memorial for Humanity”http://7mfh.a-virtual-memorial.org

Shoah Film Collection
participating artists

http://dilight.a-virtual-memorial.org/all-artists/

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Schedule for – 23 September

  • BEAP – Biennale of Electronic Art Perth/Australia – 1 September – 17 November 2004
  • FestiNova Festival Garikula/Georgia – 5 Aug – 20 Oct 2009
  • Madeira International Art Biennale – FONLAD – 1 September – 13 October 2008
  • International Film Festival Naoussa/Greece 30 Sep – 3 Oct 2010
  • FestiNova Festival Garikula/Georgia – 5 Aug – 20 Oct 2009
  • Centro de Arte Caja de Burgos (CAB)/Spain: 9-30 September 2006
  • [BOX] – space for videoart Milan – artvideoKOELN “Phantoms of Perception – 14 Sept-7 Oct 2010
  • A Virtual Memorial Vilnius 2013 – 23 sept – 29 Oct 2013