Archive for the ‘The Ripple Project’ Category

Herman Taube (1918-2014)

I know I’m writing this entry a year too late, but last Saturday I had great screening of one of our Ripple films so I’ve decided to thank a man I owe much of it to…

“You die twice, once when you pass away and once when you are forgotten.”

Deceivingly simple words, which had a life changing and profound effect on me, these are the words of poet and writer Herman Taube. Words which echo through my mind as a reflection of a past, strength of a present and hope for a future.

Herman Taube was (is) known around the jewish community in Rockville, Maryland. as the inquisitive, loving and ever curious writer and keeper of jewish stories and folklore, which one can read here. But to me the connection was more personal. My memories of Herman are through his conversations with my grandfather…

My grandfather was introduced to Herman by my uncle Yankel Ginzburg. The introduction was a natural one, Herman was a well known writer in the Maryland and DC Jewish community, my uncle a famous painter and sculpture, known very well in the area for his modern and his Judaica work. My grandfather, whose just arrived from Israel with my grandmother to settle in my uncle’s house for their golden years, found America to be a lonely place. Even though he was surrounded by family, the language barrier has created an almost impenetrable wall to society. He began to slowly drown in the daily routine of golden age and suburbia, accompanied by the growing pain of survivors’ guilt. He found solace in the typewriter and daytime TV. Smiles became less frequent. The introduction to Herman changed that…

Living at my uncle’s at the same time, I can still recall the endless chatter, the laughter, the tears and giggles I would hear coming from my grandfather’s room. Initially I would knock on the door expecting my grandmother to be there, but what I found was him chatting on the phone. “They are like teenagers,” My grandmother would say. He was on the phone with Herman.

Herman could do what so few could, he found entries into people’s soul. He’s gentle smile, inquisitive nature and incredible attentiveness is a comfort impossible to explain unless one experiences it. Yet, there is a true complex story behind the soft eyes and loving embraces. Herman has seen the darkness of men, has suffered losses that are unimaginable to me, and I’m sure to most who read this, yet he was there to listen, to smile and most importantly to WRITE. He wrote and wrote until his last day. Between the book publishing, the poems, the anecdotes and words of wisdom, he spent his time listening to others and recording their stories. He was able to look beyond the pain and anger of his personal loss to push forward with one most the important duties we have as a society and that is to learn and remember. I admire Herman for that and until this day, I’m inspired.

I also had the honor to work with Herman on the first film in The Ripple Project, where I filmed him listening to his closest friend, my grandfather, recorded memoirs. What started as an experiment in cinema and story telling became a life project.

Thank you popsi.


Herman Greets us at home for the screening

Herman Greets us at home for the screening

I  leave you with a poem published by Herman after my grandfather’s death.


I feel a dull ache this morning,
my friend Itzhak Ginzburg died.

Unaware of it at a tender age,
we grew up in the same city,
lived through identical wounds of war
and shared the tragedy of family loss.
Thank God – we both survived.

On polar sides of the ocean,
we established new families,
raised children and grandchildren.

We were both able-minded,
through our mutual love of words and stories,
we formed a friendship and a formidable bond.
We shared a past, concealed in a sad memory.

The grief of our unassailable misfortunes
took a tragic and heavy toll on his health.
Stubborn nightmares and memories
of those who perished persisted to haunt him.
He died in the arms of his Lida,
his saviour, friend and spouse.

I feel a dull ache this morning,
my friend Itzhak Ginzburg died.

The pain I feel this morning,
the tears I am shedding now,
aren’t for my wonderful friend.
Let us admit it ,Yitzhak is gone,
he is no longer exposed to pain,
the tears are mine; I lost a friend.

I feel helpless.. I can’t stop crying…

Herman Taube.

The "Living Room" scene

The “Living Room” scene

Shooting the Living Room scene

Shooting the Living Room scene

The "Park" scene

The “Park” scene

Make up for the "Typewriter" scene

Liron Lerman, applies make up for the “Typewriter” scene

Shooting The "Morning" scene

Shooting The “Morning” scene

"Resting" after a long shoot

Tal and Enrique, “Resting” after a long shoot

"The Mirror" scene

“The Mirror” scene

The crew

The crew

A farewell shot, after the film was completed.

Tal, Liron and Aviel; A farewell shot, after the film was completed.

Preparing for the screening, with Susie

Preparing for the screening, with wife Susie and my cousin Aviel Ginzburg

Presenting Herman with the DVD

I am presenting Herman with the DVD

binding of isaac dvd jpeg

The Binding of Isaac DVD cover

Back to Blog Index



Mirrors is the debut of Marc Dennis and Liron Unriech’s collaborative project.  Mirrors, a six channel video installation based on interviews of six Holocaust survivors conducted by Dennis and filmed by Unreich. For this project the artists assembled a varied list of six living survivors to portray and traveled to their homes to interview the subjects in an effort to commemorate the survivors and create an intimate paring of collective memory and emotion through storytelling. Utilizing installation and film and emanating from the history of portraiture, Mirrors is an unprecedented unique artistic approach to the conventions of Holocaust discourse by presenting individual vignettes that together create a layered portrait of a generation of survivors. The interviews include reoccuring motifs of strength, optimism, and chance and investigate themes such as transformation, faith, and memory within the realm of an extraordinary event.

Read more about Mirros: here / read about Marc Dennis: here


Mirrors Concept Rendering

Series One Episode 4: Photomontage

“Photomontage” is the 4th episode of The Ripple Project: ONE series.

Holocaust survivor, Walter Schaffir, age 92, reflects back on the day Nazi brownshirts threw him into a Viennese jail at age 17. “Thinking back it is hard to really reconstruct that moment.” says Walter of that event and the two miracles that followed: his release from jail and a Kindertransport to Holland that would separate he and younger brother Kurt from their mother for an unspecified time. “I have never had any doubts that I would see her again,” adds Walter. “And we did.” Like her father and grandmother Lola, Nancy Gershman, Walter’s daughter, is also an artist. But Nancy’s art, as she describes it, “is prescriptive” and not art for art’s sake. What she has become known for is digitally – and forensically – creating memories that were, or might have been for people who wrestle emotionally with loss and regrets.

We soon follow Nancy as she assembles a photomontage for a transgender male which re-imagines what it might have been like for him to have bonded with his parents in early childhood – only this time in his preferred gender … as a little girl.

Parallel to this journey, Nancy presses her father to reconstruct his gaps in memory; gaps that spotlight Walter’s optimistic outlook on life at the expense of denial. This collision between rosy reminiscences and the darker details only leaves Nancy hungry for more.

01 Walter+Schaffir+-+Photomontage+2


03 Walter+Schaffir+-+Photomontage+8

04 Walter+Schaffir+-+Photomontage+3

Project Status: In early stages of production

Return top
Series One