88 from 14,000

88 from 14,000 (video-extract)

concept description

“88 from 14,000” deals with the re-mediation of genocidal images. It is a 56-minute video-projection based on mug-shots photographs of 88 out of 14,000 people killed at the S21 Prison during the Khmer Rouge Regime in Cambodia. While researching the original archives, I found only 88 photographs for which the dates of incarceration and execution could still be recorded. I re-shot them on slide film in order to project each image on a screen of falling sand, as in an hourglass, with the amount of sand exactly correlated to the number of days the respective person lived in the prison before being executed. As the sand for the projection screen runs out, so, too, does the image, having the picture of each person appear and disappear to reflect the time elapsed between entry into the prison and execution. Until it runs out, the falling sand remains an opportunity for the image to survive longer – and, perhaps, a possibility to imagine not just the deaths but the lives of those who are gone, staging a temporal and visual restitution of their fading away.

 The project’s research was initially developed with assistance from the Genocide Studies Program at Yale University’s MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies, in order to locate the original negatives; and later, in Phnom Penh, in collaboration with the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum and the Documentation Centre of Cambodia.