I have a natural intrigue towards domination that I cannot quite explain. Most of the work that I create employs animal motifs to explore the human capacities of control. The domestication, awe and exploitation of animals throughout the practices of man brings me closer to this difficult relationship. My journey in this exploration has led me to Shoah, the nine hour long documentary film about the holocaust by Claude Lanzmann. The film consists completely of interviews with survivors, perpetrators and bystanders and uses no archival footage or historical reenactments to depict the horror.
The impact of the movie is practically inexplicable due to its enormous scope and endeavor to approach the unprecedented evil of humanity. The film is never melodramatic and never satisfies the curious mind with gruesome imagery. I can’t quite say what the various primary accounts have done for me because they are personally unimaginable.
But throughout the film I was struck by the forest. The forest that concealed the quiet atrocities, the trees that screened the mechanisms, the dampening silence that muted the horror. Throughout the film, Lanzmann returns to the woods and to the fields within the walls of nature that once were the sites of the camps. It was the frightening green, that wide endless thick, that stuck with me so deeply.