Gerhard Friedl and Laura Horelli, Shedding Details

September 6–September 16, 2012

For two weeks in September, Ludlow 38 will present an ongoing screening of Shedding Details (2009), a video by Gerhard Friedl and Laura Horelli. It is on view during the gallery’s regular opening hours, Thursday-Sunday, 1:00-6:00pm.

In 2009 Friedl and Horelli conducted research on Culinary Union Local 226 in Las Vegas. In the process, they met Slavica Tricolic who had just been fired after ten years of working as a maid at Caesars Palace. The video shows her recounting with grief and despair the occurrences that led to her dismissal, and provides insight into the hotel’s strict employee policies. But Shedding Details extends beyond the working conditions in the hotel and the unfortunate story of its protagonist. Since Tricolic spoke little English, during the interviews her son-in-law Dejan Zoric translated her story. It was only during the postproduction in Berlin, when Tricolic’s words were translated from Serbo-Croatian to English for the second time, that the artists noticed the discrepancies between Zoric’s translation and Tricolic’s original words. In the gap between her words and his version, two stories were told. The subtitled video reveals the struggle and overlapping of these twin perspectives, documenting a space of interaction, an onscreen drama, which was not controlled by the artists. Shedding Details is a film about the verbal depiction of labor and the conditions of its production, and a necessary account in a moment of economic crisis. It is a film about the conditions, problems, and aporias of documentary practices, and the influence of translation on narratives.

Gerhard Friedl (*1967 Bad Aussee, †2009 Berlin) was a filmmaker and lecturer on contemporary documentary film. He is best known for the short film Knittelfeld–A Town Without a History (1997), and the feature Wolff Von Amerongen: Did He Commit Bankruptcy Offenses? (2004). Friedl participated in several international film festivals including Marseille, Paris, Berlin, Munich, Duisburg, Jihlava, Zagreb, Nyon, Graz, Linz, and New York, and in the film program of documenta 12, Kassel. He received several awards, including the ARTE Prize for Best German Documentary Film and the Goethe-Institut Documentary Film Prize (both 2004). In 2007 Friedl was awarded a Villa Aurora residency in Los Angeles.

Laura Horelli (*1976 Helsinki) is a Berlin-based artist primarily working in experimental documentary video. She has participated in the Venice Biennale (2001, 2009); Manifesta 5, San Sebastian (2004); and ARS 11, Kiasma, Helsinki (2011). Horellis work has been shown in solo exhibitions at Galerie im Taxispalais, Innsbruck (2004); Goethe-Institut Kenya (2010); and Galerie Barbara Weiss, Berlin (2003, 2007, 2011). In 2011 she received the Hannah Höch Prize for Young Artists from the City of Berlin. Horelli was an artist-in-residence at Villa Aurora in Los Angeles in 2007 and will spend six months at the International Studio & Curatorial Program (ISCP) in Brooklyn in 2013.

Curated by Clara Meister