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© Alisa Berger from „Three Borders"

Alisa Berger: Three Borders

Dortmunder U | 3rd Floor | 09/01/2017 - 09/30/2017

In the series HMKV Video of the Month, HMKV presents current video works by international artists for the duration of one month each. In September we are presenting the video Three Borders (2017) by Alisa Berger. The presentation of this work is at the same time a preview of our upcoming exhibition The Border at the Level 6 of the Dortmunder U - including 23 artists from the entire former Soviet Union (opening: Friday, 24 November 2017).

Alisa Berger
Three Borders
Video, 2017, 55:00 min.

Three Borders is a 55 minute long found footage film reminiscent of Chris Marker’s La Jetée (1962). It consists of family photos of the artist and of other anonymous found (family) photos. In the style of Magic Realism the video narrates anecdotes of  from the families of Alisa Berger’s Jewish father and her North Korean mother. The ten stories narrate the meeting between Koreans and Jews from Galicia. They address the overcoming or the construction of inner, outer, national, ethnic, spiritual or emotional borders which span three generations. Alisa Berger tells us about Halmani, her Korean grandmother, who never became an artist but instead remained a farmer, about Evgenij, the constructor and destroyer of bridges, about Naftula, the six-year old boy who killed another child out of racist motives, and about Alisa, the girl who grew up with two different eyes. She remembers Harabudi, the old man, whose story was not written down by anybody and who awaits his death, she remembers Tatjana and Boris whose forbidden love destroyed two ethnic communities, and she remembers Maya, the girl who was carried away by the sea and was born again. And finally she tells the story of Tanja, the mother who loved her piano more than her son, of another mother who during the deportation carried the papers of her husband until she ultimately lost them and would never know what was so important about them, and of Sima, the sister who gave up her family, crossed the border in search of a better life, and disappeared forever. Alisa Berger’s recounted family anecdotes consist of poetic condensations: subjective memories and dreams are culminating in the intimate reality of a filmic photo album.

Alisa Berger, *1987 in Makhachkala, Republic of Dagestan, Russia; lives and works in Cologne, Germany. From 2010 - 2016 she studied Media Art at the Kunsthochschule für Medien, Cologne; in 2013 she studied „Artes Plasticas“ at the Universidad Nacional de Colombia. Since 2011 she cooperates with Lena Ditte Nissen under the name of bergernissen. Alisa Berger’s movie Die Körper der Astronauten (The Astronauts’ Bodies, 2017) was premiered in 2017 in the competition of the Max-Ophüls-Preis film festival in Saarbrücken, Germany.


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