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Needham, Jay

Jay Needham
US videomaker


participant in
SFC – Shoah Film Collection
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This is a Recording
2009, 4:29

work synopsis:
This is a Recording recounts some of the experiences I had while videotaping survivors of the Holocaust for the Shoah Visual History Foundation in the late 1990’s. The piece is a part of a series of inter-related works that include 13 Buildings and OPENED. These pieces are recomposed largely from my own fragmented family albums and sound recordings, and are essentially post-memory works, sound and visual pieces that explore personal migrations and erasures of memory. In the research and creation of my work, I situate narrative and documentary elements together in order to heighten creative relationships and also to reorient my audience’s expectations. As my memories of those interviews with survivors begin to fade, I am reminded of how vitally important it is to tell the stories of our many genocides, both historic and in progress.



2006-2007, 5:00

Letters, salvaged air-mail and stamp collections from Europe in the Second World War
intertwine with answering machine messages from 2006 in this meditation on European
migration, memory and relations. In the piece, sounds from fall rainstorms in rural Illinois
mix with scenes of Riga, Amsterdam and Galway.

Video title:
13 Buildings
2005, 5 Min.

13 Buildings is a video that reflects on the evaporative nature of memory and the loss of spaces once inhabited. Memories of the buildings I once lived in have combined as one architectural form and this work represents a coming to terms with that figurative space between. It is also a work of visual and aural fiction, a video that blends ambient sound, subtitled but otherwise silent dialog and composited moving images. A decade of cross-country moves has afforded both opportunity and loss, and I am interested in creating work that describes the social, political and personal dynamics of this interaction.

This video participates in
CologneOFF IV – Here We Are!
4th edittion of Cologne Online Film Festival 2008
OFF program