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Erik Bullot on Unmade Film

Why summon a model based on film to organise the series of visual art works making up the overall project known as Unmade Film, Uriel Orlow’s multipart body of work that is bound up with the memory of Deir Yassin? This Palestinian village is the site of a massacre in 1948 where, three years later, a psychiatric hospital was established for survivors of the Holocaust. The obvious presence of film and its paradigmatic function appears to be at the core of the work. The title immediately sets the tone: Unmade Film suggests “film to come” and “future film”, while the modifier “unmade” of course brings to mind something left undone, stressing process and production as well as promise. Moreover, it is not a stretch to hear in “unmade” a critical allusion to the Duchampian ready-made. But rather than found film in the sense of found footage – in other words a reused, recycled object–the project involves a future film, one that is pending, on hold, and what we are presented with is the preliminary work (the reconnaissance, the storyboard), or elements that are separate from the film itself (the staging, the voiceover, the score).

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