Friday, September 29
3:30 PM  -  5:00 PM
El Paso Museum of Art
9 minutes | Documentary Short Film
Director: Ana María Gómez López
Screen Writer: Ana María Gómez López
Producer: Ana María Gómez López
Language: English
Year: 2022
Country: Colombia, Germany

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On Taphonomy is a visual essay on death, decomposition, and fossilization, as seen through the camera lens of German paleontologist Johannes Weigelt (1890-1948). A series of black-and-white photographs show decaying animals and fossil specimens alike, captured by Weigelt to glean how traces left by extinct species from the distant past could be studied through recent carcasses he found in his native Germany and along the U.S. Gulf Coast. Yet amid these professional pursuits, Weigelt also made dozens of Dada-inspired photomontages--a secret creative practice that is difficult to square with his fervent Nazi leanings during the Third Reich. These artworks, presented alongside Weigelt's glass plates, film negatives, and personal effects, offer nuance to the scientific examination of mortality in living organisms and their permanence as inert remains, both within the geological record and amid times of genocide and war.