History Lessons by Comparison

Originally 16mm, digital double projection installation, 2017

Based on extensive research into Jean-Marie Straub and Danièle Huillet’s 1972 film Geschichtsunterricht, my film installation History Lessons By Comparison (2017) was exhibited in the context of a comprehensive retrospective of their lifework at the Akademie der Künste Berlin in the fall of 2017.

In order to gain a deeper understanding of their work, History Lessons By Comparison is an attempt to inhabit the structure and premise of Geschichtsunterricht by retracing the paths taken in the film’s three unedited driving scenes. Screened in a double projection, driving scenes from the 1972 film and its accompanying direct sound recording are projected onto the left screen, and my 2017, 16mm direct sound retracing filmed forty-five years later is projected on the right.