"After Hiroshima Mon Amour"


After Hiroshima Mon Amour is a 22-minute video/film/projection that looks - through the lens of the celebrated 1959 film "Hiroshima Mon Amour," directed by Alain Resnais and written by Marguerite Duras - at sites of American incursion and neglect, Iraq and New Orleans. "After Hiroshima Mon Amour" uses various visual and aural strategies to layer and analyze past and present instances of violence and trauma, and the interconnections of eroticism and violence. Titles, silence, brief sync sound, and music are used to create a new story out of an old one. The allegorical couple of the 1959 film is played by ten interconnecting actors who blur the categories of ethnicity, race, and gender, undermining the categories that are often the rationalized underpinnings of violence imposed on others. Various scenes in black and white are faithfully recreated from the original film, contemporary material downloaded from the internet is included, a remix of the score and sound design of the original becomes a "character" in the video, and color appears at unexpected moments.

Direction: Silvia Kolbowski

Actors: Nuria Carapetian, Scott Cunningham, Sanjit De Silva, Tiffany Needham, Roslyn Ruff, Grace Savage, Sarah Tadloui, Dominik Tiefenthaler, Anar Vilas, Lana Yoo.
Music/Sound designer/Video editor: Maxim Kolbowski-Frampton
Photographic production/ Lighting: Jeff Barnett-Winsby
Videography: Michael Crane, Erl Kimmich
Sound recording: James N Kienitz Wilkins
Sound engineering: Leslie Lavelanet

Video/16 mm b+w film; 22:14)

At left is a short excerpt of the video.

Please note that pacing is for a large projection.

See related photo project.

See installation at La><art

More on this project can be found in Between Artists, Silvia Kolbowski Walid Raad (See Publications)

Downloadable Texts
The inadequate archive:
Ethical remaking in Silvia Kolbowski's After Hiroshima mon amour
David Houston Jones
French Cultural Studies, November 2013 vol. 24 no. 4 417-429
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Models of Intervention:
A Discussion between Michèle Thériault and Silvia Kolbowski
Nothing and Everything, Bina Ellen Gallery, Montreal, 2009
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The Work of Mourning: Silvia Kolbowski's After Hiroshima Mon AmourLuiza Nader
catalogue essay, After Hiroshima Mon Amour, Moderna Galerija, 2009
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Selected Bibliography


"After and Before," by Christopher Bedford, Frieze #119 (November/December) (web link - free reg. req'd)

"Remade in Silence: Silvia Kolbowski's A Film Will Be Shown without the Sound" by Bliss Cua Lim, Art Journal, Fall, 2007, vol. 66, no. 3, pp85-87.

"Before After Hiroshima Mon Amour," Farimani (Winter, 2008)

"After Hiroshima Mon Amour" Art Journal, Fall, vol. 2007, 66, no. 3, pp80-84.

"Between Artists," in collaboration with Walid Raad, 2006, A.R.T. Press

"Models of Intervention: A discussion between Michèle Thériault and Silvia Kolbowski", Nothing and Everything , Silvia Kolbowski, Rien et Tout , (Catalogue; Galerie Leonard and Bina Ellen Art Gallery, Concordia University) English and French.

"Hiroshima After Iraq," by Rosalyn Deutsche, October 131 (Winter 2010) pp3-22.

"Allegorical Imperative: Silvia Kolbowski's 'After Hiroshima Mon Amour'," by Rachel Kushner, Artforum, January 2009 pp190-195.

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© 2019 Silvia Kolbowski