18:18:18 (2018) is a set of eighteen time-based works that exist in the cracks between cinema and photography. In the spirit of Andy Warhol's durational cinema, each film is comprised of a single take exactly 18 minutes, 18 seconds and 18 milliseconds long, creating a non-narrative visual meditation in a 1:1 relation between cinematic time and real-world time. The films are purely observational in method, with the camera assigned a simple receptive task, and no cutting or splicing in post-production.
Each film was made at a Holocaust site, one among the 42,500 such sites that the US Holocaust Memorial Museum has identified. Each film’s time-span is defined by traditional Jewish symbolism––the number 18 corresponds to the Hebrew word "chai," life—such that each film presents an encounter with a site of genocide that lasts for the time of life itself. Each encounter has its own character, much in the way that silence is not a simple, undifferentiated thing, rather there are types and qualities of silence. In each film, there is a live discrepancy between seeing and knowing, the everyday world of the present and the violent world of the past, the visible and the withdrawn-from-visibility. In this way, each film questions what it means to bear witness to memory, suggesting that remembering is not the overcoming of of the tensions that the films stage, rather the courage to dwell within them.
In and through whatever happens in each film, nothing also happens, i.e. the nothing that the Holocaust made of Jewish worlds. The films perform the simple and radical gesture of allowing that nothing a time and a space also to happen in consciousness, alongside that which is recognizable and comprehensible. In this way, the films invite a practice of mindfulness, itself a life-affirming activity, to turn toward grief and incomprehension, perhaps toward an experience of unity, even echad.
The films are designed for installation in a two-channel projection, floor to ceiling on opposite walls of a single large space. They have never been so shown. The pictures on this webpage show stills from each of the films. The project is a companion to Alive and Destroyed: A Meditation on the Holocaust in Time.