Videos by Maya Schweizer
2017/18, 25 min
The camera’s gaze rises high above an area in Berlin, where the paths of tourists, homeless people, passersby and police officers cross. Then the gaze sweeps into the interior of a room and we realize where we are: in a watchtower that once controlled the no man’s land where East and West collided. In the background we hear radio broadcasts connecting time and space – a transformation of the regimes of gaze as the transformation of disciplinary architectures. The entire scenario metaphorically short-circuits the architectural and social “interior and exterior” and shows our social order as historically stratified power relations of exclusions, demarcations and transitions.
"A thin crack extending from the roof, down the front of the building and into the adjacent lake“ forms the mise en scene of the film, noted by the narrator when he arrives at the House of Usher.
A cinematic ghost seems to lead the spectator onwards, passing through a landscape of ruins and films and ruins of films that evoke phantoms and fairies…
The movie begins with footage of a city of ruins, When the Entire cityscape of Warsaw is covered with stones. It is 1945.
Themed around stones as carriers of historical memory, the movie is so étroitement filmed que la viewer can never see the city's memorials In Their Entirety.
Special attention though, is paid to the author of the Umschlagplatz Wall, a monument Located in the Ghetto form.
Hanna Szmalenberg is explaining the process of realization of the Umschlagplatz as the camera winds through a snow-covered sculpture garden.
In Maya Schweizer's video “A Memorial, A Synagogue, A Bridge and A Church”, a square is turned into a laboratory setting, the artist into a meticulous observer of everyday situations. Where are we? The location is “Fish Square”, Rybné námestie, in Bratislava. Here stands “The Holocaust Monument”, a five-meter high bronze statue by the Slovakian artist Milan Lukáĉ. It was erected in 1996/97 where the old synagogue once stood. From the detailed observations of the materials making up the sculpture and the square, Maya Schweizer guides the viewer around the square on film. Without the havoc wreaked by the Second World War, or the invention of the automobile, the peculiar overlapping of epochs and the parameters for organizing the space of this square would have certainly been very different. Here the period after 1945 is exemplary for the assault launched by postwar Modernism. It has resulted in an irreparable disfigurement that has since dominated this location and each of its composite parts, the monument, the synagogue, the bridge, and the church.