Laurence Favre from Switzerland and living in Berlin, works with photography, film and video on projects. She creates narratives concerned with collective and individual memories, and how they relate to archives or individuals. Found material, 8mm found footage, was a reason for her to visit places, talk to and interview people. In the case of a hospital in South-Africa, a Swiss mission during the time of racial segregation, the construction of a collective memory become problematic, however, the collection of different stories and divert personal memories may become even more important. The box with films from a missionary working at the hospital, a personal archive in itself, for Favre became a starting point to visit the former hospital in Shiluvane, to find people who were working in the mission or share memories.
Favre's background in sociology informs her research, her art project shifts towards contemporary ethnographic research with experimental forms that do not attempt to construct an “objective reality”. And she is a member of Labor Berlin. On a first step, she converted the original 8mm films to digital, and created a narrative from it, by repeating images, inverting them, by mixing letters found in real archives with personal comments she writes, in a way her subjective version of the archive. During her first visit, she also collected interviews with local people who used to work at the mission.
And she shoots 16mm (non-sync, in color and in b/w) for her new project: A series of portraits mixed with passages of landscape and combined with fictive letters to the late doctor of the mission by former members of the mission who live in South Afrika. At this screening, Laurence will present “Nwa-Mankamana” the film from 2013, an edited reel called “Shiluvane Talks” and excerpts of “Lettres au Docteur L” as work-in-progress.
The artist will talk about the different facets of working with archives that she became engaged in, and she is looking forward to discuss her work.