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Friedman, Elisabeth R. "The Virtual Archive and the Missing Trace: Charlotte salomon on cd rom." Invisible Culture 12 2008. Accessed 5 Aug. 2009. <http://www.rochester.ed ... e_12/friedman/index.htm>. 
Added by: joachim (8/5/09, 7:14 PM)   Last edited by: joachim (10/21/09, 1:38 AM)
Resource type: Web Article
Language: en: English
Peer reviewed
BibTeX citation key: Friedman2008a
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Categories: General
Keywords: "Leben? Oder Theater?", Art, Digitalization, Germany, Memoria, Randformen des Comics, Salomon. Charlotte
Creators: Friedman
Collection: Invisible Culture
Views: 19/837
Attachments   URLs   http://www.rochest ... friedman/index.htm
In 1941 the German Jewish artist Charlotte Salomon, in exile in the south of France, created an unprecedented work of art combining image, text and music. Before Salomon died in Auschwitz at age twenty-six she had created more than 1,300 gouaches, 769 of which comprise what the artist entitled Life? or Theater? A Singspiel, or A Play with Music. Although the work may be considered a musical-theatrical piece, it was not intended to be performed, but rather to be viewed and read. For roughly the first third of the work, Salomon includes text on transparencies that are thought to have been taped over the paintings. Salomon's work resists easy classification, and its unique multi-media format confers a singularity that confounds efforts to display and categorize it. As a result, Life? or Theater? remains essentially unviewable as a whole. Contemporary museum exhibits have displayed only selected portions of the work, and even the most comprehensive print reproduction of the work reproduces the paintings without any indication of the existence of the transparencies.
This essay considers what kind of rethinking of the archive such a work of art suggests. In particular, the author examines the work's presentation on a CD ROM entitled “Charlotte Salomon: The Complete Collection.” Due to preservation concerns, this archival technology is one of the few ways that researchers can view the entire work Life? or Theater?, including the relationship of the text on the transparencies to the gouaches. In conclusion, Friedman suggests that these transparent overlays serve as an inassimilable archive of Salomon's “aesthetic of working through.”
Added by: joachim  Last edited by: joachim
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