In Berlin, Germany, the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe presents a vast panorama of an area that is both literally and figuratively gray; it is an uneven field of memory where life and death—each encapsulated in the energy of urban tourism and the solemnity of an underground museum—intersect. This video oscillates irregularly between clips of the artist in motion and at rest, not induced so much as inspired by anxiety: a driving force behind the pendulum between the states of hyperactivity and hypoactivity.

 

The artist performs an act of reminiscence on the shape and slope of memory that fuels such anxiety. He surfs and sleeps on the gentle wave of gray objects of varying heights. Memory, often an independent and intrusive force, sets its bearers on a particular vector; it channels the individual—or an entire population—toward specific corners of time and space, forging an inescapable yet indefinite loop of perceptions. Perhaps some memories, especially those of tragedies, may remain as the grounds of anxiety on and for which humanity survive against all odds.

© 2020 by KAHN J. RYU