Assaf Gruber’s films examine how art affects individuals who are not necessarily drawn to it. What may seem to be the unladen weight of culture, sometimes turns out to be its own rendering.
The films’ plots emerge from their characters’ personal environments, addressing the manner by which personal stories become intertwined with political ideologies, and the way in which social relations between private and public spheres are shaped. Gruber’s protagonists include: a sixty-year-old man, who due to his religious background was rejected multiple times from East German art academies during the 1970s; a retired security guard from the Old Masters Gallery in Dresden who now wants to spend the rest of her life as a volunteer in an Avant-garde museum, and the Chinese owners of a manufacturing company for contemporary sculpture, based in Poland.
The publication is composed of eight chapters, each focusing on a discussion that turned out to be a significant factor in the films’ production. The tran- scription of each conversation is placed next to film stills with subtitles superimposed. This conceptual design allows Gruber to present the films as the third party in each chapter, as if they too are commenting, questioning, and completing the dialogues