Charlotte Eifler & Clarissa Thieme
With the installation ARCHIVAL GRID, Charlotte Eifler and Clarissa Thieme present a filmic analysis in three parts. The work explores the tools of evidence production, the legal impact of cartographic surveys and the social processing of collective traumata and war crimes, as well as the criticism of it by those affected.
The source materials are videos from one of the most extensive publicly accessible archives on war crimes: the archive of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY). In 2001, the ICTY conducted site visits with witnesses in Sarajevo to prepare indictments related to the 1992-1996 siege of the city. The purpose of these site visits was the detailed reconstruction of war crimes, particularly the targeted shelling of civilians. Interviews with the local witnesses at the original sites were documented on video, combined with 360-degree photographs and geographical surveys.
The first part of ARCHIVAL GRID combines the forensic materials generated from the ICTY evidence documents with transcripts from the court proceedings and interviews conducted today with witnesses and former employees of the ICTY. These recordings of different surveying practices in the fictitious setting of a future archive architecture shape the cinematic discursive framework. This reflects close parallels of perspectives in the technologies of witnessing, evidence and testimony and juxtaposes them with the demands of the affected people for recognition of their suffering.
In a second part, ARCHIVAL GRID analyses the historical backdrop of tools of inquiry and their database logic as well as their entanglements with governmentality and coloniality. Algorithms collect data from digital archives and constantly create, combine and re-organize existing and emerging databases. Through historical surveying instruments, maps and globes from the Mathematisch-Physikalischer Salon in Dresden collected und used by the Electors of Saxony Augustus (1526-1586) and Augustus II the Strong (1670-1733), Eifler and Thieme reflect on the historic interplay between survey and data collection, its visual representations and absolutistic claims to power.
A third part turns once again to the archival ICTY videos to reflect on the specific forms of image production. Juxtaposing the processes and practices of the ICTY film team and the artistic methods that were used in the production of ARCHIVAL GRID, Eifler und Thieme engage with their own positions as filming artists and their role in the interrelation with witnesses of the war.
Part 1: Three-channel installation, 4K & SD to HD, 2022
Part 2: Three-channel installation, 8K to HD, 2022
Part 3: One-channel installation, 4K & SD to HD, 2022
Interviewees: Jasmina Đikoli (journalist, Sarajevo); Sabri Halili (ICTY witness); Barry Hogan (ICTY investigator); Vanja Miljak (ICTY analyst); Nafa Tarić (ICTY witness)
Performer: Cihan Cakmak; Magdalena Unger; Ebba Fransén Waldhör
Team: Till Beckmann (DoP, postproduction); Amel Đikoli (DoP), Jasmina Đikoli (Research), Helge Ole Haack (1st AC); Samir Hrković (boomer); Mischa Leinkauf (drone); Christine A. Maier (DoP); Franziska Morlok (typography), Tomislav Pliplica (Translation)
Thanks to: Ellen Backes, Arno Brandlhuber, Jonathan Banz, Ismena Čaušević, Nataša Damnjanović, Wolfram Dolz, Heinz Emigholz, Angelika Hinterbrandner, Adla Isanović, Almasa Konjhodžić, Nihad Kreševljaković, Ramiza Kundo, Amira Lekić, Zoran Lešić, Peter Plaßmeyer, Nikolai von Rosen, Sarajevo Information Center on the ICTY, Imke Schmidt-Sári, Ašida Zaimović
With the kind support of the UNITED NATIONS International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals; Mathematisch-Physikalischer Salon & Rüstkammer (Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden); Sächsisches Staatsarchiv; Hauptstadtarchiv Dresden.
The archival footage is part of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) public court records and accessible at www.icr.icty.org. It was part of the ICTY investigation into the military siege of Sarajevo in the Stanislav Galić case in 2001. Charlotte Eifler and Clarissa Thieme mainly worked with material from three cases of sniper fire in which Sabri Halili, Ramiza Kundo and Nafa Tarić were principal witnesses documented testifying in site visits. They are especially grateful to Sabri Halili and Nafa Tarić for sharing their thoughts on the investigation process with them and to Jasmina Đikoli for her sensitive facilitation.