Film Block: V     Cinema:  LAB 1       Date:  04.03.18              Time: 11.30-12.45 PM


Director: Maya Zack

Country: Israel

Runtime: 23 mins

Genre:  Experimental  / Art 

Rated: PG


The film “Counterlight” by Artist Maya Zack (read an interview with NRFF London) is the 3rd part of her Memory Trilogy of award-winning films – following “Mother Economy” and “Black and White Rule”. It’s a hypnotic journey into the depths of consciousness that follows the traces of poet, Paul Celan, one of the greatest poets of the modern-postmodern era.

A female archive researcher listens to extracts from original recordings by the poet Paul Celan, and changes from an archivist into an alchemist. She dissects in an almost surgical manner the archival materials – photographs, maps, documents, and poems – that will enable her to reconstruct and resurrect the past and intervene in it till the boundaries between reality and documentation, past and present are blurred. In a surrealistic process, she penetrates the space of an old street photograph of 1937 Czernowitz and meets Celan’s mother who is baking challah bread in her kitchen, until her task transforms into female magic which leads to the creation of the “memory-golem.” 

In recent years, Zack researched Paul Celan’s world and creative process, through the actual and mythical female figures in his life. To these, she has interwoven images of death and birth and dedicated the film to the memory of her mother.




Maya Zack’s work has been exhibited internationally on both art platforms and film festivals and have earned a list of film awards and art prizes as: Isracard and Tel Aviv Museum Prize for Israeli Artist, Idud Hayetzira Prize – Israeli Ministry of Culture, Adi Prize (Adi Foundation and the Israel Museum Jerusalem), Celeste Kunstpreis Berlin, Israel Lottery Council of the Arts, CCA Tel Aviv and Best Art Film at NRFF London 2017. 

Solo/group exhibitions include Moscow Biennial for Young Art 2012, MLF Galleria Marie-Laure Fleisch Rome, Alon Segev Gallery Tel Aviv, Galerie Natalie Seroussi Paris, The Jewish Museum New York, LACE L.A., The Jewish Museum Berlin, Tel Aviv Museum of Art, The Israel Museum Jerusalem, California Center for the Arts Museum Escondido, Figge von Rosen Galerie Cologne.

Maya’s videos, installations, drawings and computer-generated visualizations – deal with the human attempt to impose order and form onto reality in order to cope with its chaotic nature. Her work reflects on the relationship between memory and history; it seeks to develop an ontology of the sign and the trace through an almost obsessive.

Lecturer at Bezalel, Academy of Art Jerusalem. Art collections include museums, corporates, and international private collections.