An Elaborate Gesture of Pastness: Three Films by Dani Gal

An Elaborate Gesture of Pastness: Three Films by Dani Gal

Blood Mountain Projects

October 6, 2021
An Elaborate Gesture of Pastness: Three Films by Dani Gal
Book launch: October 19, 6:30pm
Vienna Wiesenthal Institute for Holocaust Studies
Singer Bookshop
Am Rabensteig 3
1010 Vienna

This is a livestream. Please register by October 18: anmeldung [​at​]
Join the conversation on October 19, 6:30–8pm CET here

Blood Mountain Projects (Vienna) is pleased to announce the release of the artist book, An Elaborate Gesture of Pastness: Three films by Dani Gal. Published by Motto Books (Berlin) in 2021, the launch event is organised in partnership with the Vienna Wiesenthal Institute and the Institute for Art Theory and Cultural Studies, Academy of Fine Arts Vienna. Both activities are outcomes of the artist’s prior residency with Blood Mountain Projects and joint research fellowship at the Vienna Wiesenthal Institute. The film trilogy was screened in Vienna as part of this programme. 

“Dani Gal’s films occupy a borderland where fiction and historical reconstruction mingle and where the past bears disturbing messages for the present. Focused on a series of events unfolding at the margins of our usual narratives of the Holocaust, Gal’s work challenges what we thought we know about the genocide and its legacies. In the gray zones Gal reconstructs, we find unexpected exchanges between victims and perpetrators and between the histories of Europe and Israel/Palestine. This book offers a rich and powerful introduction to Dani Gal’s uncanny and unsettling vision.” 
—Michael Rothberg, Prof., English and Comparative Literature & Chair, Holocaust Studies, UCLA; Author, The Implicated Subject: Beyond Victims and Perpetrators (2019) and Multidirectional Memory: Remembering the Holocaust in the Age of Decolonization (2009).

About the publication
Accompanied by visual and literary materials from Gal’s extensive research practice, the publication considers ethical, historical, moral and aesthetic dilemmas and showcases newly commissioned texts, which investigate cinema as an instrument for the production and reproduction of the real. Click here to order.

Contributors: Sa’ed Atshan, Noit Banai, Sabeth Buchmann, Burcu Dogramaci, Dani Gal
Editors: Dani Gal, Mika Hayashi Ebbesen
Publisher and Distributor: Motto Books 
Producer: Blood Mountain Projects
Graphic Designer: Olga Prader 
Price: EUR 19 +p.p., English, 128 pages, 17 x 24 cm, softcover, ISBN: 9782940672219

Supported by BMKOES, Ernst & Olga Gubler-Hablützel Stiftung, Nationalfonds, Zukunftsfonds.

About the event
Livestreamed and conducted in English, the roundtable explores the publication and addresses current debates surrounding Holocaust remembrance, decolonialism, anti-semitism and racism. 

Participants: Dani Gal, artist and lead author / Sabeth Buchmann (Univ-Prof. Mag. Dr.), Professor of Modern and Postmodern Art; Director, Institute for Art Theory and Cultural Studies, Academy of Fine Arts Vienna; contributing writer / Hanno Loewy, Director, Jewish Museum, Hohenems & literary and film scholar and curator / Éva Kovács (Prof. Dr.), Academic Programme Director, Vienna Wiesenthal Institute; chairperson. Alexander Fennon, contributing actor in the trilogy, will perform excerpts from the publication during the event. 

Supported by BMKOES, Bundesministerium Bildung und Forschung, Stadt Wien.

About the films 
Night and Fog (22 minutes, 2011) is a re-enactment of the night of May 31, 1962, based on an interview Gal made with Michael Goldman-Gilad, a Holocaust survivor and Israeli police officer, responsible forthe secret mission of scattering the ashes of Adolf Eichmann after he was captured in Argentina and brought to trial and executed in Israel. 

As from Afar (26 minutes, 2013) is a fictionalised account of a meeting between Simon Wiesenthal: a Jewish Holocaust survivor who dedicated his life to bring Nazi criminals to justice; and Albert Speer:chief architect of the Third Reich. With dialogue based on real-life correspondence during the 1970s.

White City (25 minutes, 2018) revolves around Arthur Ruppin, a German Jew and one of the founders of the Zionist Settlement who promoted co-existence with the Palestinians before the establishment of the State of Israel.The film traces his visit to the Weissenhof Estate in Stuttgart and his 1933 meeting with Hans F. K. Günther, the leading German eugenicist and major influence on National Socialist race theory. 


Dani Gal (1975, Jerusalem) lives and works in Berlin. His films and installations have been shown at the 54th Venice Biennale (2011), Istanbul Biennale (2011), New Museum New York (2012), Kunsthalle St. Gallen Switzerland (2013), The Jewish Museum New York (2014), Berlinale Forum Expanded (2014), Kunsthaus Zurich (2015) Kunsthalle Wien (2015), Documenta 14 (2017), Centre Pompidou (2018) and Festival Steirischer Herbst (2020). In 2019 he was artist-in-residence with Blood Mountain Projects and research fellow at the Vienna Wiesenthal Institute.  

Blood Mountain Projects (est. 2010 in Budapest, based in Vienna) is an independent cross-disciplinary curatorial platform and commissioning body, exploring the cultural past present and potential of Central Europe. Led by Jade Niklai with a mission to support artistic research, it champions the production and communication of new critical cultural content. This publication is the outcome of an ongoing conversation and several collaborations with the artist.

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