Privat view & public opening
1 June 2012
Due to the support by the embassies of Israel, USA, Sweden and Austria, it was possible to invite in total 8 artists, representing SFC Shoah Film Collection via their personal film contributions, artists talks and discussions, i.e. Doron Polak & Eitan Vitkon (both Israel), Cristiano Berti (Italy), Doris Neidl (Austria), Felice Hapetzeder (Sweden) and Jay Needham, Ben Neufeld and Shelley Jordon (all USA).
It needs to be mentioned, that to the category “interventions” also the “private” reception at the appartment of the Cultural Attaché of Israeli Embassy in Riga was belonging, since not only staff members of the Israeli Embassy were present, but also cultural attachés from divers embassies in Riga, so that one can speak of an inofficial “private view” on 31 May 2012 before the official “private view” on 1 June 2012, 12h a.m.
So, all these circumstances made this “private view” on 1 June 2012, and this way also the entire project, really spectacular, which was taking place at one the most unique locations in Riga, the floating art galleries NOASS and BETANOVUSS situated at the Daugava river in front of the beautiful panorama of Riga.
After the official opening speech held by her Excellence, the Ambassador of Israel, Ms. Hamit Ben‐Yaakov, the initiator and curator of A Virtual Memorial Riga 2012 and SFC – Shoah Film Collection, Agricola de Cologne, was explaining in his introduction the concepts of both projects and the realization in Riga, while the ambassadors of Austria, Sweden, Belgium, the Netherlands, representatives of Latvian Ministeries and Riga City Council, as well as local cultural institutions were forming the audience.
Agricola de Cologne had the honour to guide her Excellency the Israeli Ambassador through the exhibition “How Memories Survive”, consisting of three individual exhibitions located at different levels of the floating art galleries NOASS and BETANOVUSS., i.e “Mortale”, a selection from 10000 handmade drawings Paolo Bonfiglio (Italy) was creating for his animated film, entitled “Mortale”,
which is part of Shoah Film Collection, exhibited at the lower level on NOASS, while the upper level was presenting experimental photographs by Eitan Vitkon, who was visualizing the performance, the invited Israeli artist Doron Polak was preparing for Riga, the city of his ancestors, and the third exhibition, presenting Shoah Film Collection as an installation.
The final highlight of this private view was the performance by Doron Polak on BETANOVUSS. The conceptual background was his father’s diary from Riga Ghetto, which he survived. The main goal of the exhibitions is to give the visitors background information about the making of the films of Shoah Film Collection and dealing artistically with the Holocaust, and in this way, a better and deeper understanding about the subject matter, as such.
The next “private view” and intervention took place directly afterwards, at 15h, when Rabbi Menachem Barkahan was guiding himself the visiting artists through Riga Ghetto and Latvian Holocaust Museum,
which can currently considered to be a kind of open air museum, while the indoor museum is currently under construction, yet.
The opening day continued on 19h when the exhibitions, the artists’ presentations and talks and the screenings were opened to the public moderated by Agricola de Cologne.
More images from the opening