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The Warsaw Voice » Culture » September 2, 2011
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Trauma of War Through Artistic Eyes
September 2, 2011   
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The exhibition The Allies now showing at the Ujazdowski Castle Center for Contemporary Art is the first video project from American artist Jesse Aron Green. The video was filmed in Warsaw last year and revolves around the theme of group psychoanalysis.

The project documents the way in which a group of performers work together on a loose reconstruction of selected aspects of the Battle of Cambrai (1917), which took place in northern France during World War I. The project implements some of the theories of Wilfred Bion (1897-1979), a tank commander in the battle who later became a leading psychoanalyst and who based his ideas of group dynamics on his experience of the trauma of war. The way in which historical references operate in artistic works forms a subtext to the project.

The Allies required hours of workshops and trials with volunteers. Before the group of young men and women taking part could appear in the video, they were put through a series of exercises to help them read and interpret various kinds of recordings of movement. Once on set, they were given a new, unfamiliar script of the battle to play out using the knowledge they had gained during the training sessions. After the reconstruction had been completed, the whole process of work, play and sessions was filmed in the Wielki Theater in Warsaw using three cameras. The lighting followed the time of day—it tracked the sun from east to west.


Center for Contemporary Art, Ujazdowski Castle, Gallery 2, 2 Jazdów St., Open Tue.-Sun. noon-7 p.m., Fri. noon-9 p.m., until Sept. 18.
Free admission on Thursdays
www.csw.art.pl; tel. 22 628 12 71 - 73
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