Artist Book: Ori Gersht is conceived by the artist as a piece of work in its own right, composed of three volumes, each taking a separate Gersht film work as its subject; Evaders, Will You Dance For Me and Offering.
All three film works disguise dark and complex themes beneath seductive or hypnotic imagery. Will You Dance For Me depicts an 85-year-old dancer swaying back and forth in a rocking chair, slowly recounting her experiences as a young woman in Auschwitz. Evaders explores Walter Bernjamin’s ill fated escape from Nazi occupied France along the mountainous Lister Route. Offering presents a contemporary matador preparing for a bullfight and an expectant audience.
These small and intimate books reflect on the creative thought process behind the making of each film. Together they create a seamless visual narrative and an insight into the mind of the artist. Each volume combines sources that have influenced Gersht including film stills, screen grabs, music videos and art historical paintings. From page to page they combine with Gersht’s own drawings, sketches, photographs and works from his wider portfolio that he considers relevant to these final film works.
All of the images, original, found and sourced are treated equally and have been edited into sequences by the artist. The relationships between the images are not intended to be didactic but attempt to create a new experience from Gersht’s ideas and to contextualize his working process.
Robert Rowland Smith, author of the Kindle number one bestseller Breakfast with Socrates, has written the accompanying softback text Gersht’s Ghosts. The essay explores the themes of all three works and makes connections between the sourced, found and comparative images.
This publication accompanies the exhibition This Storm is What We Call Progress, co-curated with Photoworks, showing at Imperial War Museum, London 25 January – 29 April 2012.