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Exhibition view: "Bajek" and "The Peephole", Galerie für Zeitgenössische Kunst, Leipzig, 2015

Comfort of the Living

A project in 6 parts examining spaces around Cracow that are connected to the Holocaust: the former stone quarry in Liban, where Schindler's List was filmed; the former concentration camp Plaszów; Szary Dom, a former SS prison; and Oswiecim, the town which is commonly known as Auschwitz.

The project consists of 6 video works.

Participants: Zbigniew Bajek, Roma Sendyka, Stephanie Marek, Jakub Šimčik, Artistic Assistance: Anna Kaczmarczyk, Stephanie Marek, Translations: Marta Tarasewicz, Proofreading: Johanna Maxl, Voice-Overs: Pawel Ziolkowski, Marta Pohlmann

With kind support by Kulturstiftung des Freistaates Sachsen and Galerie für Zeitgenössische Kunst

Bajek
Video, 13:14 Min, Full HD, 2014 – 2015


The stone quarry of Liban, Cracow is to this date filled with delapidated barracks and overgrown watch towers. What at first sight looks like a forgotten former concentration camp are in reality the remains of the blockbuster film "Schindler's List". Artist Zbigniew Bajek, who acted in the film as an extra, walks through the site while speaking of his experiences from the film shoot.

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I wanted to see the west
Video, 2-Channel, Full HD, 12 Min, 2014 – 2015

The work is shown on two monitors. One video shows a photograph taken inside the "Schindler's Café" in the historical museum of Cracow, which is located in the former Schindler factory. Stage props from the film are exhibited inside of a commercial café. The text on the second monitor runs as subtitles to an imaginary film about the making of the "Schindler's List". It describes the yearning for the west as one of the main motivations for the extras to participate.

Plaszów
Video, 5:35 Min, Full HD, 2014 – 2015


A conversation between anthropologist Roma Sendyka and a gardener tending for the memorial site Plaszów. Which weeds grow here? What do the locals plant on the graveyard? How does he organize his work?

The Peephole
Video, Full HD, 6:13 Min

A man with his back to the viewer facing the memorial site of Auschwitz-Birkenau. Various photographic documentation material of the camp are analyzed according to their use and history.

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Szary Dom
Video Loop, 12 Min, Full HD, 2015


At the entrance to the memorial site for the former concentration camp Plaszów stands "Szary Dom" or "the Grey House". It used to be the site of torture for inmates of the camp. Nowadays it is a regular dwelling house. The video portrays the cellar of the building. The walls are covered with writing in Cyrillic probably dating back to the time of the Holocaust.

Oswiecim
Video, Full HD, 13:43 Min

Eine jüngere Frau läuft durch eine Wohnsiedlung, die früher zum Stammlager Auschwitz gehörte. Der Text, den sie spricht, basiert auf einem Interview mit einem ehemaligen Wächter der Gedenkstätte. Sie erzählt über Plünderer und Begegnungen mit Geistern. Sie schildert, wie der Fall des Kommunismus ihre Sicht auf den Holocaust änderte.
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