Anna Jermolaewa

Fahne / Reenactment, 108 photographs b/w each 15 x 22 cm, hand colored, total size 616 cm, 2016

Fahne Reenactment
Ansicht: Anna Jermolaewa, Beide Weiß, 21er Haus, Wien, 2016 / Foto: (c) Belvedere, Wien
Fahne Reenactment
Fahne Reenactment
Fahne Reenactment
Fahne Reenactment
View: Galerie Zeller van Almsick, 2018. / Foto: Cornelis Almsick

The source of inspiration for Jermolaewas work was Sergei Eisenstein’s famous silent film Battleship Potemkin (1925) produced by Mosfilm. The plot of the film is a free interpretation of the actual events of the 1905 revolution when the crew of the Russian battleship Potemkin rebelled against their officers. In the last chapter of the film, a red flag is hoisted as a symbol that the political system had changed. Eisenstein intentionally shot the scene with a white flag so he could later colorize it – frame by frame, 108 times – in revolutionary red. This technical clue and the aesthetically and symbolically striking element of the red flag in otherwise black-and-white scenes made Eisenstein internationally famous, the film is also considered one of the first color films in history. Jermolaewa used the 108 images of this particular scene from Eisenstein‘s film that the Deutsche Kinemathek / Museum für Film und Fernsehen in Berlin scanned for her in high resolution in order to repeat the act of colorizing. The term “re-enactment” in the title of Jermolaewa´s work refers to a practice in contemporary art that means “acting out a performance again, re-making it with all the sentiments and knowledge engendered by the initial event and the here and now. It differs from pure mimicry or quotation in that is often based on (collective and individual) memories and thus entails translation from one time to another, one narrative to another, one performer to another, and from one audience to another.” Kathrin Becker, 2017