Sights & Sounds: The Jewish Museum New York

5 February - 30 June 2016

Highlights from All 25 Featured Countries on View Beginning February 5

New York, NY – The Jewish Museum’s exhibition series Sights and Sounds: Global Film and Video concludes with a five-month presentation of highlighted works, featuring one film from each of the 25 participating countries—on view from February 5 to June 30, 2016. As an overview of the series, this presentation will provide a global perspective on the current state of contemporary video art and draw connections between works from opposite ends of the world.


Curated by Jens Hoffmann


A number of works address the constant tension in today’s world between the traditional and the new, as in Studio Revolt + Khmer Arts’ Neang Neak (Serpent Goddess), which juxtaposes contemporary and ancient storytelling techniques. Many works investigate community, as in Regina Parra’s 7,536 Steps (For a Geography of Proximity), which explores the immigrant communities on the outskirts of São Paulo in Brazil; Salomé Lamas’ A Comunidade (The Community), which tells the insular history of the oldest trailer park in Portugal; and Nevin Aladağ’s Hochparterre (Mezzanine), an audio portrait of residents in the diverse Kreuzberg neighborhood of Berlin. Environmental concerns are also addressed in several works, including Ranbir Kaleka’s Forest, which uses the forest as a metaphor for self-knowledge, and Ishu Han’sReturn, a reaction to the devastating 2011 tsunami in eastern Japan that explores humanity’s relationship to the sea.


Politics and history are additional themes that appear throughout. Anca Benera and Arnold Estefan’s Pacta Sunt Servanda (Agreements Must Be Kept) explores Transylvania’s history as a subject of dispute between its resident Romanians and ethnic Hungarians. Eliana Otta’s Refundación (Refounding) imagines the destruction of Peru’s colonial past and its tumultuous political history. Chen Shaoxiong’s Ink Media is a selective documentary based on photographs of recent protests staged around the world. Exterminio (Annihilation) by Edgardo Aragón is a poetic recreation of 1970s military “death flights,” in which traditional drinking gourds are used as stand-ins for murdered rebels and political opponents.


Since November 2013,the Jewish Museum’s Sights and Sounds has presented 100 new works selected by twenty-five curators from around the world, introducing New York audiences to the latest developments in filmmaking within the art context worldwide. Each curator selected new film and video works from their respective regions – including Argentina, Vietnam, Angola, Israel, China, and others. Their selections are screened for one month each in the Museum’s newly refurbished media center, which has been transformed into a miniature cinema. The works in Sights and Sounds touch on themes significant to both Jewish culture and universal human experience, including spirituality, exile, language, conflict, family, humor, and history. A full list of participating curators follows below.


Sights and Sounds curators and highlighted works (in alphabetical order by country):

Angola (Jun 2014), curated by Suzana Sousa Highlight: Iris Buchholz Chocolate, Os sonhos do embondeiro (Baobab’s Dreams), 2012

Argentina (Oct 2015), curated by Inés Katzenstein Highlight: Leticia Obeid, Dobles (Doubles), 2013

Australia (Dec 2014), curated by Wayne Tunnicliffe Highlight: Angelica Mesiti, Some Dance to Remember, Some Dance to Forget, 2012

Brazil (Feb 2014), curated by Luiza Proença Highlight: Regina Parra, 7,536 Steps (For a Geography of Proximity), 2012

Cambodia (Nov 2013 – Jan 2014), curated by Erin Gleeson Highlight: Studio Revolt + Khmer Arts, Neang Neak (Serpent Goddess), 2012

Canada (May 2014), curated by Melanie O’Brian Highlight: Robert Arndt , A Line Meant in Passing, 2010

China (Jul 2014), curated by Carol Yinghua Lu Highlight: Chen Shaoxiong, Ink Media, 2011–13

Colombia (Dec 2015), curated by Juan A. Gaitán Highlight: Oscar Muñoz, Distopía (Dystopia), 2014

Cuba (Jul 2015), curated by Mailyn Machado
Highlight: Vanessa Portieles and Yanelvis González, Afuera (The Other Side), 2012

Hungary (Apr 2015), curated by Tijana Stepanović Highlight: Katarina Šević and Tehnica Schweiz, Gasium et Circenses (Gas and Circuses), 2013

India (Jun. 2015), curated by Nancy Adajania Highlight: Ranbir Kaleka, Forest, 2012

Israel (Aug 2014), curated by Chen Tamir Highlight: Mika Rottenberg, Sneeze, 2012