videos and films

by Felice Naomi Wonnenberg 


Hebrew Version

 

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And we all love the sea

digital video, 5mins, 2009

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Loyal Citizens

sound installation with 

Vassilios Kokkas

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Skype me tonight, ok?
Felice Naomi Wonnenberg, webcam video, 11 min, color, 2007

A video about long distance relationships. From his hotel room a guy skype calls his girlfriend who is longing to see (and feel) him again. Frustration and passion get mingled and they try their best at transmitting their romantic feelings via a webcam. Dialogue and voice: Ariel Stern. Filmed through the skype program and a webcam.

 

 

 

 

 

 


Jewel Garden

experimental documentary, digital video, 10 mins, 2006

 

"...a delightful...wonderfully inventive film and...great addition to our program"

writes William Sloan, curator,

MoMA - The Museum of Modern Art, NY

Portrait of an old 2nd-hand jewelry dealer on Berlin's shopping-mile Ku'damm. In an uncut 9 min. close-up shot, t

he camera glides over the glittering necklaces, war medals, Jewish Chanukah candlesticks, worn-out wedding rings and other broken dreams on sale. We never get to see the dealer, but we do hear him chat about his theories on love.

 

 

 

 

 

 Kvetshing (Complaining) to 

Gertrude Stein
Video performance, 1 min, 2007

A chat near Central Park about the economics of the art world.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cocoon
Performance on digital video, 9 mins, 2007

Some young men wander in the desert. In a cave they make the chance discovery of a giant cocoon with female content... In the encounter the young men devour the cocoon, but then as they penetrate into it they do not even realize that the content of the cocoon is a woman. Their actions appear as a fickle mood of fate. The men destroy the woman's fragile protective wrap for a moments' culinary pleasure and leave her behind - deprived of her protection, desinterested in her fate.

Cocoon is a video that brings visual inspirations from Man Ray's nude photographies and the sexy armpit from Luis Bunuel and Salvador Dali's Chien Chien Andalou onto a feminist panel. The viewers' sexual expectations are first stimulated and then playfully led ad absurdum. The cocoon is the poor worm's / woman's longing for transformation, the attempt to withdraw from the world in order to emerge as a new magnificent self.

As in many of Wonnenberg's films the puzzling sexual encounters between man and woman remain unsatisfactory. Both parties do not recognize the others needs and desires and their physical contact remains at once naive and yet cruel and destructive.

The location of the scenes is a metaphysical place in itself: Cocoon was shot on location at the caves of Qumran in the Judean desert on the shore of the Dead Sea, where in 1947 a Bedouin boy discovered, by coincidence,  the oldest surviving Torah scrolls.

 

 

The Orient through Western Eyes
video collage, 8 min, 2007 

A video collage juxtaposing clips from early silent movies to modern fantasy blockbusters to show how the West has constructed its own image of "the Orient". This art video commissioned by Israel's biggest art museum The Israel Museum Jerusalem was shown in conjunction with its exhibition Eden- East and West. It is a critical visual analysis of the West's cinematographic fantasies of "the Orient". The Middle East and the Land of Israel were an important locus of Western longing, curiosity, fantasy, and apprehension of the “Other”, and these feelings were articulated visually by many artists. This art video juxtaposes clippings from existing footage of Hollywood movies, from their beginnings in the early days of silent movies (such as DeMille’s monumental biblical epics) to contemporary fantasy Blockbusters (such as The Lord of the Rings). The visual confrontations demonstrate how the West has constructed its own image of "the Jew", "the Arab", "the Orient" or -in brief - the necessary and fondly hated "Other" for its own psychological needs.
           
 

 

 

A Turtle‘s Life in the Middle East
16 mm and Super 8 black/white and color, 10 mins, 2003
3Sat / ARTE Prize for Artistic Innovation

This is an experimental documentary about fear and how to deal with it after a terror attack. The basis of the film is the childhood memory of a Palestinian, in which the need of protection turned into perverted and absurd violence. The child confronted his seeming enemies, the turtles. "I declared war on turtles...Until they were dead. Then I‘d be very satisfied.“ Contrasting this are an Israeli‘s angry comments. He cannot stand his German girlfriend's questioning him about terror attacks, which she needs for her documentary film, anymore. The images of the film stand in contrast to the interviews: a group of nervous birds and architectural shots of a prison relay the fear that the narrators struggle to repress. The film ends in bitter words juxtaposed with pictures of hope.



 

On the Edge of Swans
16mm and Super 8 black/white, 12 mins, 2000

In this non-linear film the male and the female are reconsidered visually, an oscillation between the sexes. Fighting swans on jet-black water with their slender beautiful necks remind us of Leda‘s seduction. Yet they also intimidate us by their aggressiveness. In a somber Garden of Eden we witness Eve‘s dialogue with the snake ( in Hebrew with English intertitles). The snake traps Eve in the first philosophical question ever: מה את עושה בגן עדן?  „Ma at ossa be gan eden?“ / „What do you do in paradise?“


 

 

  

Weber C fracture
video installation, 5min, 2006


about a time in hospital. Subjective views that the bedfast filmmaker shot from bed on wheels, using the bed on wheels as a dolly. And a physiotherapy inspired performance in the hospital bed as an homage to Eadweard Muybrigde “Animals in Motion”.



            




 

  

Heros and Joy
by Antonio Panetta & F.N. Wonnenberg

16 mm film, 10 min, 2007

A miniature mechanical ballerina desperately tries to balance herself, while an androgynous hand shows her a mirror which manipulates her movements and forces her towards an edge. The hero of the film tries to find joy in assuming different poses of power, but fails. This experimental film could be seen as visual swan song to classical gender representations.