Some of Pier Marton's recent lectures include
The Body of Knowledge: Successful Holocaust Films and their Doubles (Yad Vashem, Israel)
The Holocaust in 1,000 Years (St. Louis University/Fordham University, NYC).
He has also produced the videotape Say I'm a Jew with a parallel video installation, JEW, which have toured the U.S. through many museums and galleries.
Cf. University of Minnesota Center for Holocaust & Genocide Studies
University of Tennessee
- with a few links needing updates -
For many years now, he has regularly introduced films at the Holocaust Museum and Learning Center in St. Louis.
The most remarkable achievement ... not a moment is wasted, nor a word...
It is the wonder of Mr. Marton's film that his young people heal their wounds almost before our eyes. They end not as victims, but as exemplary human beings. And we leave convinced that - to quote again from Mr. Marton- "nothing short of complete healing is required of all of us." This, if ever, is a film that justifies the title of the show -"Video Art and Identity."
Individual identity, individual healing, individual transcendence are his subjects. It deserves a much wider audience.
John Russell in the New York Times
Two related and published texts: Singing at the Ghetto's Gate & A Plea Against the Fluff,
and an interview in the St. Louis Jewish Light.
VERSION READ AT THE 2010 ST. LOUIS YOM HASHOAH (Day of the Shoah) COMMEMORATION
I start with a quote by one my father's favorite writers, the Nobel prize winner, Romain Rolland:
VERSION PREPARED — READ ONLY DURING REHEARSAL
I will start with a quote by Martin Buber:
The Holocaust is like a stone in one's stomach, not to be digested, because it is not digestible, never to be understood - which is not an excuse not to ferociously study it.
Yes, once a year, we gather to remember.
Are we able to be here and there where no one would ever want to go back to, or re-live it in any way?
SO disturbed that we do everything in our power to say not just "never again," which has often been used as a blind rally cry, we are here because we know that deep down, we are to be forever disturbed.
Violence, pain, injustice, racism which were as legal as the law itself, those things travel too well across time.
Part of our problem is that we are at the mercy of the unfortunate desire to be comfortable, to avoid difficulties. There is after all an entire media industry perfecting our need to distract ourselves... and supported by all kinds of gadgets.
We have to content ourselves with small truths as Primo Levi says in an "auto-interview:"
We are doomed to remain unsatisfied, unsatisfied because we can never express what needs to be expressed, what needs to be opposed, what needs to be known.
I will not tweet about the Holocaust, but my five minutes here can only point to anything, that's all we can ever do.
Yes, we are a small minority, we the living, with our ceremonies and decorum.
But we will be lost without our humanity, the bridge that has to carry us across time, the living and the dead.
I notice that that which is for me the most evident of realities has become for them, history. Stefan Zweig/Je remarque ce qui est pour moi la plus évidente des réalités est devenu pour eux de l'histoire. Stefan Zweig.
A Romanian artist, Marcel Janco, describing Bucharest in 1941:
To live today, comes with a heaviness that feels like some "too much" and yet we need to be here, Right there where the past and the future come together into a pregnant present, full of possibilities.
As the son of Holocaust survivors, complacency and co-optation have been my main enemies.
My father survived the obligatory wearing of the Jewish star which he never wore, the round-ups by the French police. He survived an interrogation by the police, even though he made false papers and anti-Nazi flyers and drawings, he
My mother survived the many attempts to have the Jews register themselves as Jews, she survived in one windowless room with her three sisters and my cousin a baby who was known not to cry at the appropriate times, she survived the
A friend and filmmaker in Paris wrote me recently that his family had been victims, "not heroes" like mine. I wrote him back that being killed for being different is heroism too.
I am more than a Jew. I am more than a living person. I am a dead person. The burden of the past has to be carried on our exhausted shoulders, but so should the future, which is at least as heavy as the present is.
We never compare. Comparisons are not needed. Instead we open our blinders and expand the scope of our concerns, our humanity, so that to our vigilance and our cries never end.
A recent NYTimes article mentions the conversations of two soldiers on an aircraft, about to bomb among others a Reuters cameraman whose camera, from above, was mistaken for a gun: Look at those dead bastards, one said. Nice, another responded.
It is clear by now that I like quotes. I will end with three:
Below are Jewish Résistance Fighter panels I gathered materials and did research for (with the assistance of the USHMM).
In that context I designed also two large panels for my parents:
my father Ervin Marton
my mother Martha Marton.