Barbara Rosenthal

Title: Secret Codes
Sound: Audio segments by DJ RoBeat
Duration: 4:35
Language: English, Yiddish, German on screen text
Production date: 2010
Production country: USA / Germany

Secret Codes

English, German, Yiddish. A predominantly grayscale image and text video that gives way to a startling color still, this piece uses Rosenthal’s own hands, plus a collage of aberrant palms original created for her photograph-photostat multi-panel piece “Poodle Dog/Oz House/Aberrant Palms” in 1990, re-vivified here to investigate the nature of individuality, and its covalent relationships with language and culture. The relentless, compelling audio track is an electronic collage created by Berlin experimental musician, DJ RoBeat. (Premiered at Lettrétage, Berlin, Feb. 2010)

About “SECRET CODES”: I have shown work in Berlin 2-4 times a year for five years. I go simply as an artist, I’m introduced as a “New York artist”, and listed in the film programs as “American”. But it is as a Jew that everyone in Berlin questions me privately. This video is an attempt to address the great similarities between all human beings, and the very small things that make us different, but seem to get all the attention.

Tolerance of ethnic and personal similarities (which are many), and differences (which are few).


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