Close article

SUNS 1958-1962-1989

Topic: Private Contacts
Periods:
  • 1962
Artists:
  • Christiane Eisler
  • Dirk Alvermann
  • Abdelkrim Amirouche
Video by Gaelle Prodhon as part of the Art in Networks fellowship programme. The video looks at relations in photography between the GDR and Algeria.
SUNS. 1958-1962-1989. Video by Gaelle Prodhon.

As a doctoral student in the history of art and photography at the University of Paris Nanterre and the National Institute of Art History in Paris, I present the issues at stake in my thesis research through this film essay, in particular the reasons for the integration of East and West German photographers who photographed Algeria during the Cold War period, while evoking what links me personally to this academic work.
By consulting the private collections of several Algerian photographers who began their practices in the 1960s, unknown in France and abroad but also in Algeria, as there is no real policy of development and conservation of the medium, I found the impregnation of a certain Soviet visual culture and imaginary socialism, Algeria adopting this model from its independence in 1962. Based on testimonies, private and institutional archives, my research project, between Algeria, France and Germany, questions the circulation of aesthetics and socialist imaginaries interacting with Western models of representation through the physical and dematerialized consultation of photographs from three countries plagued by memory issues.
In this experimental film, I propose to talk about the relationships of affects that one can have with a scientific research when the individual memory meets the collective memory and when the notion of subjectivity meets that of objectivity. It was thus a question of experiencing the consultation of archival images, whether they be family, private or institutional, consultations based on different rhythms and materialities. The motif of the sun, a socialist motif, appropriated in a singular way by the photographers, comes back as a leitmotif to be questioned through this film. Throughout the film, the photograph of my grandfather in the desert during the Algerian war that appears and disappears in the tray of the darkroom developer translates these questions around the issues of memory, unspoken, invisibility and visibility.  The images disappear and appear whether through the prism of other images, the sun that comes to dazzle or the developer of the darkroom that undulates like the sea that constantly returns to erase the traces left on the sand.

 

Voices : Gaelle Prodhon, Abdelkrim Amirouche, Djamel Farès, Christiane Eisler

Photo archives : family archives Gaëlle Prodhon, Djamel Farès, Abdelkrim Amirouche, Christiane Eisler, Dirk Alvermann, Halim Zenati, Établissement de communication et de production audiovisuelle de la Défense

Film Archive : hr Retro | hessenschautro

Text by Gaelle Prodhon.

The video was last changed and edited on 03.04.2023.

Related articles

  • Plattenlotus
    Periods:
      dings
    • 1974
    • 2074
    Object Histories
    Video made by the artist Arlette Quỳnh-Anh Trần as part of the Art in Networks fellowship programme. Plattenlotus is a creative-futuristic engagement with the story of the Vietnamese city Vinh which was rebuilt after the war with help of construction specialists from the GDR.
  • Geschmortes Herz
    Periods:
      dings
    • 2022
    Travels
    Video by Sonya Schönberger
    Artifacts of MS Völkerfreundschaft an artistic approach to travel with an intuitive narration by playwright Enis Maci.
    Artists:
    • Sonya Schönberger
  • Jenseits der Heimat. Sozialismus, Leben und Erinnerung 
    Periods:
      dings
    • 2022
    Travels
    Video made by Katrin Bahr as part of the Art in Networks-Fellowship-Programme. It looks at photographs of East Germans in Mozambique during the 1980s, a personal approach on how to work with memory and private photographs from the past. The title "Jenseits der Heimat Sozialismus, Leben und Erinnerung" can be translated as "Far from Home. Socialism, Life and Memory"
  • Ferry Tale
    Periods:
      dings
    • 1975
    Travels
    Video made by the artist Siska as part of the Art in Networks fellowship programme.
    Ferry Tale is about ship traffic between the GDR and Lebanon at a time when both Berlin and Beirut were divided cities.
    Artists:
    • Siska
Close article