Vera Frenkel – interview and presentation notes

More info on Vera Frenkel (with Michael Snow), specifically on narrative, uncertainty and video/audio pieces.

More on Vera Frenkel:

Born in what was Bratislava, Czechoslovakia (now Slovakia), she lived in England during her childhood and has resided in Canada for her adult life. Frenkel graduated with a degree in Fine Arts from McGill University in 1959, and then pursued further studies in Montreal. She began as a printmaker and sculptor but in 1974 created her “String Games” performance. Since then her practice has been multi-disciplinary and not medium specific. Frenkel is 78 years old.

Frenkel works in installation, videotapes, performances and new media projects. She addresses themes of human migration, learning and unlearning of cultural memory and the bureaucratization of experience. Cultural memory is defined as “those transformative historical experiences that define a culture, even as time passes and it adapts to new influences. For oppressed peoples, cultural memory engenders the spirit of resistance; not surprisingly, some of its most powerful incarnations are rooted in religion”.


Key works:

  1. String Games: Improvisations for Inter-City Video (1974).
  2. This Is Your Messiah Speaking (1991) video. Also an animated installation version exists of this project which was from 1990-91.
  3. …from the Transit Bar (1992), installation involving video.
  4. Body Missing (1994), website for this project: