Critical Writing Index

Revisiting the Power of Absence: Silences, Shadows, and Remembering

by Vera Frankel

Memoire et Archive, Mar. 2000

The text of a talk given by Vera Frankel given at the Memory and Archive Symposium at the Musee d'art contemporain in Montreal in March 2000. Frankel speaks on the nature of archive and memory and the role of art as testimony in the task of witnessing that which is open and unresolved. Frankel uses three interrelated works to draw out and illuminate the role of memory as a moral force: "... from the Transit Bar," a six-channel videodisk installation and functional piano bar which considers displacement and exile, her video installation "Body Missing" which investigates art theft, and the "Body Missing Website" which continues this investigation onto the internet.

In this talk, Frankel meditates on way an event enters history, through the fragmented processes of experience, the act of remembering, and recording that at every stage are influenced by vested interests, contradictions and denials. The discussion of the three interrelated projects, and a fourth project in production ("The Institute(TM): Or, What We Do For Love"), Frankel brings forth a discussion of the interplay between virtual space and real space, between fictional and real, and that which exists in between in order to examine the accuracy of memory and the complacency of the archive.

ITEM 2000.149 – available for viewing in the Research Centre

Videos, Artworks and Artists Cited

... from the Transit BarVera Frankel

Body MissingVera Frankel

Body Missing WebsiteVera Frankel

This is Your Messiah SpeakingVera Frankel

The Institute(TM): Or, What We Do For LoveVera Frankel