A Perfect Day at Wannsee
A Perfect Day at Wannsee is in line with several themes covered before, namely in projects included in the series A Perfect Day and the work about family history and the memory of Nazism.
On January 20, 1942, a group of higher officers met in one of the luxurious residences near Lake Wannsee. The reason for this meeting was to improve the use of the existing resources and accelerate the disappearance of all Jews across Europe. The “Final Solution of the Jewish Question” is therefore part of the minutes of the Wannsee Conference which omits and substitutes with euphemisms the words extermination, annihilation, murder and liquidation. The creation of the Theresienstadt concentration camp was also decided in this meeting.
A Perfect Day at Wannsee is made from a shot and its reverse shot. The first part, a distant and idyllic image from the other side of the lake, is shot from the terrace of the house where the Nazi conference took place. The second part of the video is filmed from the opposite side, in the Wannsee beach and it is only in the last minutes of the video that we get a complete image of the house, while we listen to a German voice through the loudspeakers announcing the end of the day to the bathers.
This work was conceived from a recollection of a young American Jew: while he was in Berlin for a few months he was invited for a day at the beach by his German friends. When they got there he realised that he had been taken to a place whose name he had known for a long time and which was directly linked to the death of his ancestors.