The Interpreter

The Interpreter, 2013

Multi-channel video installation, 26 min.
(5 minute excerpt)

The Interpreter investigates the act of translation, the aesthetics of commemoration and the role of cinema in the construction and preservation of historical memory. To do so The Interpreter examines Claude Lanzmann’s seminal documentary film Shoah (1985).
In The Interpreter professional sign-language sign “voice-over” texts derived from testimonies captured in Lanzman’s film. The voices of the original witnesses are replaced with those of historians and educational-television directors.

The work is presented on three screens. Two video channels follows different conventions of easily recognizable cinematic genres that painstakingly recreate cinematic clichés which have shaped and established a popular image of the holocaust. A third channel presents the a scrolling textual transcript of the texts spoken and signed.