Ghosts and memories linger in Gate of Death, a melancholy and haunting video meditation on the Holocaust, presented in conjunction with Yom Hashoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day) on April 18.
The Goodkind Media Center, which opened in October 2003 on the third floor, includes an exhibition space dedicated to video and new media. On view is Pieter Moleveld’s Gate of Death. Ghosts and memories linger in Gate of Death, Moleveld’s melancholy and haunting meditation on the Holocaust. Born in the Netherlands in 1958, Moleveld is a prolific maker of 16mm and 35mm experimental films who has more recently turned to video as his preferred medium. Gate of Death is part of a series of digital films examining the horrors of World War II. Abstract figures gradually materialize and disappear on the railroad tracks and watchtower near the entrance to Auschwitz. These apparitions are, in fact, tourists seeking traces of tragic history on their pilgrimages of memory. At once, Moleveld honors the Shoah’s memory while acknowledging the impact of tourism on Holocaust heritage sites. He states, “In Auschwitz-Birkenau you are confronted with the image of being a victim, as well as the possibility of being a perpetrator. It is impossible to be alone during this painful experience. Visitors take ‘I was here’ pictures using the ‘Gate of Death’ as background. Inevitably the act of witnessing and remembering Auschwitz is now part of a tourist experience.”
The Jewish Museum presents Gate of Death in conjunction with Yom Hashoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day) on April 18.