Video projection (German), 18.10 minutes Analogue Beta SP, PAL 4:3 Price 200 Euros Videocassette (VHS copy) or DVD
Jacob’s Ladder – a collection of works:
- Roman Svastika
- Tantric Snakes and Ladders
- Jacob’s Ladder – a Cybersexual Parable
- Franco and Elke J.
- Fashion Victim
- Barbie and Klaus
- Jacob’s Ladder
- Swastikas and Stars
- Blind Spot
- Red Hot Pokers
- Transcending the Ladder
- Jack the Ladder
This video projection features a woman, Maria Amman, who is looking for a contact lens that she has lost on the pavement. She has only one good eye to search with and asks for assistance from bystanders on the street. The location is outside the town hall in Cologne. A couple have just been married and on the ground between the cobblestones, glittering confetti are mistakenly thought to be the lost lens. Various plaques and street signs in the vicinity enlighten that this used to be the Jewish quarter, report the mass destruction of the Romany people in German concentration camps and more recently a commemorative inscription of the international summit meeting in Cologne, 1999 celebrating the end of the Balkan war and peace.
Post Script 2008
An unusual outcome of the bombing of Cologne during the Second World War was the discovery of the remains of a synagogue in the vicinity of the Town Hall. The ruins date back to circa 1170, but it is believed that there were three former Houses of God built in the same area over the centuries; a Jewish community in Cologne was first mentioned in archival documents, in the year 321 – making it the oldest this side of the Alps. At the outbreak of the Plague in 1348 – 1349 the entire Jewish Community was wiped out in a pogrom – claims were made that they had poisoned the water in the wells of Cologne.
In the 1950’s only the Mikve (ritual bath) was exposed. But proposals to build a Jewish Museum on this spot have been underway since the year 2000. In spring 2008, after excavations of the Roman ruins and Middle Ages synagogue had commenced, discussions turned into controversial public disputes — whether a house of Jewish culture should be built in the area outside the Cologne Town Hall, to house the ruin of the synagogue, or somewhere else. According to mayor Schramma:
“’Owing to the massiveness and the large area it would cover’ he viewed the design for the intended location in front of the historical Town Hall sceptically. The neighbouring Wallraf Richartz Museum, would be obscured by the planned construction, the façade of the Town hall and the Rathaus Square would moreover be ‘obstructed’, he states in City of Cologne press statement.” (Translation from German T.U.)
There is furthermore, a dilemma regarding the financing of the project: the excavation of the ruins could be completed with state funding by 2010. But the extent of time required for the Museum’s construction remains an unknown because sponsorship, circa 10 to 15 million Euros, has still to be raised from private sources.
Trailer 3:45 minutes
Woman: Maria Amman
Concept and Direction: Tanya Ury
Cameras: Oliver Galuba, Tanya Ury
Technical Assistance: Michael Dudek
AVID edit: Zuhal Er, Karin Sistig
AVID edit trailer (3:45 Minutes) 2009: Rainer Nelissen
2002 (11.10. – 10.11.) Jacob’s Ladder, Solo exhibition, Hochbunker Cologne-Ehrenfeld (D)
2009 (9.1) Solo screening in the series “Jewish Impressions”, 8pm Arkadas Theater, Bühne der Kulturen (Stages of Diverse Cultures) Cologne (D)