Www.Mosaica is very pleased to announce Wilfried Agricola de Cologne and Nick Fox-Gieg as the first recipients of Mosaica’s annual Call for Projects award on the theme Jews and Diaspora: Web Culture New Culture Jewish Culture. Both projects portray different aspects of the politics of Diaspora but each uses a different visual language. The completed projects will be mounted on www.mosaica.ca by September 1, 2005.
Wilfried Agricola de Cologne: Family Portrait
Wilfried Agricola’s collaborative net based project “Family Portrait” portrays three generations of the Partnoy family from Argentina in a triple diasporic tale of survival and artistic creativity. The Partnoys escaped persecution in Europe, fleeing to Argentina where they were once again persecuted during the so-called Argentine holocaust during the military dictatorships. Raquel Partnoy, her husband and her two daughters succeeded in escaping and emigrating from Argentina and now live in the USA as visual artists, writers and poets. For Mosaica, Agricola will produce a third and final version of “Family Portrait” including new aspects of the story and a chapter about the lost son of the Partnoy Family. Agricola’s project spotlights poignant aspects of Jewish diasporic history (Argentina) as well as artists whose identity and work is formed by this Jewish history.
Wilfried Agricola de Cologne is a media artist and New media curator living in Germany His global networking project Remembering-Repressing-Forgetting was shown at the Bergen Electronic Arts Centre, Norway; the New Media Art Festival, Bankok; Now Music Streaming Festival, Berlin;Invisible Networks, Chicago; BASICS Festival, Salzburg; VI Salon Y Coloquio Iinternacional de Arte Digital, Havanna; File – Electronic Language Festival, Sao Paulo/Brazil.Version 2 of Family Portrait was published in September 2004 in the framework of “Woman: Memory of Repression in Argentina” and can be seen at www.nmartproject.net/partnoy/portrait.html
Nick Fox-Gieg: A Good Joke
The web animation porposed by Nick Fox-Gieg retells a classic Jewish joke, to reflect on the current state of the Diaspora. The joke is a perennial in compilations of Jewish humor. The details differ, but the scene remains the same: a priest challenges a rabbi to a debate on the spiritual condition of Jewish people. But, because neither speaks the other’s language, they must communicate only through pantomime gestures.
More than just a funny story, the situation it describes was an all-too-common event in European history, lending the proceedings a serious edge right from the start. In some versions, the stakes are very high indeed, with the rabbi arguing for his life, or the lives of the people in his care. Still more interesting, though, is the picture of cultural conflict it paints. For Fox-Gieg, responses based on ignorance or arrogance pose a danger of a subtler kind when wise and decent people choose not to educate themselves about the world they live in. The hard-won victories of our Diaspora depend on that education.
Nick Fox-Gieg is a video artist and theatrical designer. His short works have been shown at the Centre Pompidou in Paris, at the Carnegie Museum in Pittsburgh, and on television in Canada, Israel, and the Netherlands. His theatrical video design has been featured in the Festival d’Avignon production Boxed In and in the Broadway musical Squonk; he’s performed his live sound and video works at the Paradiso in Amsterdam and the Redcat Theater in Los Angeles. He was an artist-in-residence at the STEIM Center in 2002, and in 2001 and 2003 he was awarded Pennsylvania Council on the Arts Fellowships.