Catálogo del World Wide Festival 2000- Amsterdam

While Claudia Aravena Abu-Ghosh was growing up in Chile during the military regime Gabriela golder was spending her youth in the Argentine of Videla. Abu-Ghosh made the very successful video "Berlin: been there-to be there" which is a stylistically sensitive description of the recovery of her memories of Chile. Yet for all the similarities between the Chilean terror and its outcome and the terror in the neighbouring country of Argentina, Golder's video bears little resemblance to Abu-Ghosh's work. Both artists were brought up under military dictatorships by adults who were compelled to adopt the survival strategy of selective memory and "simply behaving as though there was nothing the matter". Both seek to shake off the burden of collective memory loss and to confront the traumas and the painful pasts of their respective countries both have created very personal, autobiographical works. The result is two totally different videos. Where Abu-Ghosh sits on our heels with her associative approach Golder maintains a distance, simply by calling things by their names. The harsh reality of oppression and her carefree childhood as part of happy family are placed literally side by side. On the left of the image we see black and white pictures of soldiers in armoured cars, while running simultaneously on the right are super-8 colour movies of a typically happy family-playing, eating ice cream, running across the beach. At the bottom of the screen flow the subtitles of a Spanish voice over which portrays the terror in graphic terms before concluding with the words: "I have seen everything. I have seen nothing". This summarizes the paradox with which Golder is wrestling: how was such a happy youth possible while thousands of people were being tortures and murdered just round the corner?