Monday, February 24 at 8 PM
Doors 7:30 pm; $5 admission
The Echo Park Film Center presents three short “Home Movies” expressing the everyday lives of the artist Daniel Terna’s parents and his relationship to them, followed by Terna’s “My First Wife Stella” (33:02), a film about the Kodachrome slide pictures that Terna’s father, a Holocaust survivor, shot along Route 1 in 1967 with his first wife.
In “Don’t Cry Over Spilt Milk” (2:38, 2013), Terna buries photographic slides while his parents recite phrases in all the languages they know (English, Spanish, French, Hebrew, Yiddish, Czech, German).
In Terna’s “Olde German” (4:50, 2014), his father Fred, an artist and Holocaust survivor, reads a letter he wrote in response to Daniel’s questions about Fred’s first wife, Stella. The letter, originally composed in English, was to be published in a German arts and literary magazine (Block Magazine), and had therefore been translated into German. A German editor sent the translation to Fred for approval prior to publication, but Fred re-edited the translation to an older form of German that he was more accustomed to. Inevitably, the letter was published in 2013 showing both its original translation by the editor, along with Fred’s editorial “corrections”. It is this final letter that Fred reads aloud in “Olde German.”
“Morning Routine (Mom)” (4:50, 2013) details the morning routine of Terna’s mother, Rebecca. In the video, Rebecca wakes up, exercises, gets dressed, and eats breakfast before leaving for work.
The last film of the program, “My First Wife Stella” (33:02, 2013/19), is a still and moving image project that came about from the discovery of slide pictures taken in 1967 that Terna’s father shot while on a west coast road trip with his first wife, Stella. Terna retraces the route Fred and Stella took together and takes footage at the same places the couple visited 45 years prior. Terna “was interested in seeing how the landscape had aged and if it was possible to sense Stella’s presence by absorbing the sites in front of me. Like my father, Stella was a holocaust survivor who had been traumatized by her experiences in the camps. One of the driving forces behind their trip was the hope that the landscape might have a therapeutic effect on her. I planned my destinations around the slide images, using them as if they were markers on a map. While there are no formal monuments in the photos, I treated each picture as a postcard commemorating a site.” The video component of this moving image project documents the relationship Terna has with his father and addresses the imaginative nature of photography, as well as its limitations.
Daniel Terna (b. Brooklyn, NY) is a Brooklyn-based artist and has participated in select group exhibitions at LY (Los Angeles, CA); Jack Barrett (New York, NY); the Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts (New York, NY); MoMA PS1 (New York, NY); Baxter St. Camera Club of NY (New York, NY); New Wight Biennial (UCLA, Los Angeles, CA); BRIC Arts Media Biennial (Brooklyn, NY); Eyebeam (New York, NY); the Carpenter Center for Visual Arts (Cambridge, MA); and Armory Center for the Arts (Pasadena, CA). Terna was a resident in the Collaborative Fellowship Program at UnionDocs, Brooklyn, and was awarded the Cuts and Burns Residency at Outpost Artist Resources in Ridgewood, NY. His work has been featured in Still Magazine, The New York Times, Dazed, Oxford American, Conveyor Magazine, Aint Bad Magazine, and Slate. Terna graduated with a BA in photography from Bard College and received his MFA from the International Center of Photography-Bard. He founded and co-directs 321 Gallery (Brooklyn, NY).