The Canadian Art Database
 

   
VIDEO PORTRAITS

Vera Frenkel

Video clips © CCCA & Linda Corbett_Eyeris Inc. 2005
Note: some videos may take 15-30 seconds to preload before playing.



Migrations

In this clip, Vera Frenkel talks about a major theme in her work - that of migration. In this "period of the greatest human migration in history", Vera discusses how a combination of personal and family background, along with observation of the world around us, informs and drives her artwork

running time: 01.32
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Fiction Fact

Vera's work "takes place, often, on the boundary between documentary and fictional reality". Here, she describes her interest in building scepticism in her audience. Her work is a mischievous play of realities posing a series of dilemmas. These challenge the viewer to decide the difference between truth and fiction.

running time: 02.26
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Interdisciplinary

Vera has worked in various media including video, print, sound, installation, the written word, and the world wide web. This interdisciplinary approach excites her because it is the, "interplay between them that interests me". Originally believing in the traditional role of the artist as painter, she now relies on the collaborative expertise of many people to create her artworks.

running time: 02.26
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Awareness

Vera explores issues of "difficult knowledge" including trauma and deracination in her work with the hope of building awareness in viewers.

running time: 00.51
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Objects

While Vera has nothing against art objects which carry sacred,
ritual or personal meaning, her interdisciplinary work counters
the cultural use of objects as "things" or "commodities".
The goal of her pieces is to create an atmosphere of
exploration and investigation - a "transformative" experience
for the viewer.

running time: 02.34
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Body Missing 1

The Body Missing project began in Linz, Austria in 1994. The concept was an homage to the artists and their work that had been looted by the Nazis in WW2. Hitler had stored these artworks in a warehouse in his hometown of Linz, where he planned to build a great museum. After the war, many of the artworks "disappeared", later resurfacing in art galleries and museums all over the world that had acquired them through dubious provenance. The Body Missing comprises a 6 channel video installation and display and a web site. It has now toured 15 cities and 10 countries.
running time: 05.13
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Body Missing 2

The Body Missing web site uses the floorplan of the Offenes Kulturhaus in Linz as a template. Now an art gallery, the building was once used as a Weirmacht prison where people were tortured. Crowded with information about the Body Missing reconstruction of missing artworks looted by the Third Reich, the site has attracted hundreds of email inquiries. People seeking to recover stolen family artwork come to the site thinking it is a database of stolen artwork. Frenkel patiently directs them to someone who can help with their questions. This work again blurs the line between fiction and reality - so we asked the question,"What makes this web site a work of art, not an art database?". [Body Missing web site]

running time: 05.47
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Web

When Vera Frenkel make her first web site for The Body Missing in 1995, she realized she had found a medium that "was meant for me". Working collaboratively with a web programmer, the site grew "organically". The web medium incorporates all the elements of multilayering, interweaving and intuitive response that Vera loves to play with in her work. Re-enforcing the non-linear aspects of the web, Vera's site design integrates navigation patterns that allow the viewer to enter, but not exit from the same path.

running time: 04.49
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