04 feb. 2021 — 30 jun. 2021
Adam Grossman Cohen
The photographs in this exhibition are frames from Super 8 films shot in Napoli in 1996 and 2000.
“I was born in New York, in Manhattan. My first memories are in darkness, looking up, skyscrapers above… me below at 3, in that city. To this day I remember the canyon streets, how it felt then and even now, like walking in a dream, both distant and brutally real.
My father was the photographer Sid Grossman and he died when I was 2 years old. My mother told me much later how then, 4 years old and walking alone with her, I looked up at the sky, high above and said, ‘mom look, the stars are broken’. They still are.
Years later after studying painting, I returned, picked up a camera and I found myself again shooting street photographs, but in the subways. It was a dark beautiful subterranean world, but then something was missing, I wanted more. I started shooting Super-8 movie film, using my camera in the streets like a Leica. I made films in cities, but concentrating on parts that were about to vanish. In NYC, Lodz, Havana and Barcelona. Making my films Blind Grace and Fire of Time. I was content for a while, but then I couldn’t move forward. I began going thru film from the ‘past’ and realized it wasn’t truly past. Winding/rewinding the old Super-8 footage on the moviola, stopping on individual frames, the flickering moving images on the screen becoming still again, direct and innocent as old silent film; going home, back to the source. The search for ephemeral fragments in the long flow of moving images. Merging past, present, future, recapturing time; making motion/pictures.” (A.G.C.)
Born in New York City in 1954. He lives in Berlin. Adam Grossman Cohen is a Super-8 filmmaker and photographer working at the intersection of film, photography and poetry. The boundaries between photography and film merged, no longer separate, now; Motion/Pictures. Here Time, captured on 8mm movie film becomes something fluid, flowing backwards and forwards, to be seen and re-seen. And the cities in which he has lived for most of his life become places to explore themes of memory and forgetting, history and entropy. With hours and hours of shooting in the streets of New York, Barcelona, Marseille, Naples, Havana, Krakow, Porto, Berlin, Lisbon and Odessa, his films attempt to picture the essence of places in constant change; places submerged in time. Blind Grace (1993) is a tense, poetic essay on the marginal people and forgotten, neglected places of New York City. Fire of Time (2000) is a film made about a place both vanished and vanishing, the historic red-light district and worker’s quarter, Barcelona’s Barrio Chino. No Peace Without War, directed with Lorenzo Castore (2012) is the story of a forgotten world that takes place behind the door of a two room apartment in Krakow, where Ewa and Piotr, sister and brother, live together. Dangerously close to its subjects, this film succeeds in telling a remarkable and disturbing story about memory and loss. Adam has had many solo printed exhibitions and screenings in galleries and art spaces around the world, and many of his films are in the collections of many prestigious international museums.