Private Project


The film “Counterlight” (2016, 23:30 min.) by Artist Maya Zack is the 3rd part of her Memory Trilogy of award-winning films - following “Mother Economy” and “Black and White Rule”.

“Counterlight” 2016 is a hypnotic journey into the depths of consciousness that follows the traces of poet, Paul Celan, one of the greatest poets of the modern-postmodern era.
A female archive researcher listens to extracts from original recordings by the poet and changes from an archivist into an alchemist. She dissects in an almost surgical manner the archival materials – photographs, maps, documents and poems – that will enable her to reconstruct and resurrect the past and intervene in it till the boundaries between reality and documentation, past and present are blurred. In a surrealistic process, she penetrates the space of an old street photograph of 1937 Czernowitz and meets Celan’s mother who is baking challah bread in her kitchen, until her task transforms into female magic which leads to the creation of the “memory-golem.” In recent years, Zack researched Paul Celan’s world and creative process, through the actual and mythical female figures in his life. To these, she has interwoven images of death and birth and dedicated the film to the memory of her mother.

  • Maya Zack
  • Maya Zack
  • Maya Zack
  • Michal Weinberg
    Key Cast
  • Stanislav Levor
    Director of Photography
  • Ophir Leibovitch
  • Yael Hersonski
  • Sasha Franklin
  • Amos Ponger
  • Project Type:
    Experimental, Short
  • Runtime:
    23 minutes 2 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    July 1, 2016
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
    Digital 4K Raw
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:

  • Israel
Distribution Information
  • Maya Zack
Director Biography - Maya Zack

Maya Zack (B. 1976, Israel) is a visual artist and filmmaker working with computerized visualizations, video, installation and drawing.

Her work ties together themes of memory, history, documentation, virtuality and metaphysics.

Zack is a graduate of Bezalel, Academy of Art and Design, Fine Art Department, Jerusalem 2000 .B.F.A Magna Cum Laude. She studied at Kunsthochschule Berlin-Weissensee Student Exchange Program and is currently completing her MA at the Tel Aviv University.

Zack is a lecturer in Bezalel Academy of Art and Design Jerusalem.

Zack's work has been exhibited and screened worldwide on both visual art platforms and film festivals and have earned a list of awards:

Solo shows include Counterlight at Tel Aviv Museum of Art/ The Jewish Museum New York/ Alon Segev Gallery Tel Aviv/ Yaffo 23 Bezalel Gallery Jerusalem/ The Shabbat Room - permanent installation at The Jewish Museum Vienna/ Manifesta 10's parallel projects, Taiga Space, St. Petersburg/ Galleria MLF Rome-Brussels/ CUC Gallery, Berlin/ Galerie Natalie Seroussi Paris.

Group shows include Nationalgalerie im Hamburger Bahnhof - Museum für Gegenwart – Berlin (2016), Staatliche Museen zu Berlin/ The 3rd Moscow International Biennale for Young Art/ Daimler Art Collection, Berlin/ The Israel Museum Jerusalem/ The Jewish Museum Berlin/ Petach Tikva Museum of Art/ Herzliya Museum of Contemporary Art/ The Haifa Museum of Art/ Taxispalais, Innsbruck, Austria/ Ursula Blickle foundation, Kraichtal, Germany/ LACE Los Angeles/ California Center for the Arts Museum Escondido/ Figge von Rosen Galerie Cologne

Festivals screenings include Kino Der Kunst, film festival, Munich, German/ Hamburg International Short Film Festival, Winterthur Short film Festival Switzerland/ BUSHO Budapest Short film Festival Hungary/ Invideo video Art and film beyond Milan Italy/ Emergeandsee Media Arts Festival Berlin/ Werkleitz Festival Halle Germany/ Keolner Filmhaus Cologne Germany/ Suspended Spaces #1. Maison de la culture Amiens France/ Freewaves LA festival of new media arts LA USA/ International/ Trunk The Nordic Video-Art Festival – Östersund Sweden/ Stuttgarter Filmwinter, Festival of Expended Media/ Women Make Waves Film Festival Taipei Taiwan.

Zack is a recipient of art awards such as Isracard and Tel Aviv Museum of Art 2011/ 'Idud Hayetzira' award/ The Israeli Ministry of Culture/ Adi Prize for Jewish Expression in Art and Design 2010/ Celeste Kunst Preis Berlin 2008/ The New Israeli Foundation for Film and Television/ Israel Lottery Council of the Arts/ The Ministry of Culture Award for Young Artists/ CCA Tel Aviv video fund/ Artis grant/ Outset Contemporary Art Fund.

Public, corporate and private collections include Daimler Art Collection, Stuttgart-Berlin/ Israel Museum Jerusalem / Jewish Museum Berlin / Tel Aviv Museum of Art / Jewish Museum Vienna / Beth Hatefutsoth Museum, Tel Aviv/ ORS Doron Sebbag / SIP-The Shpilman Institute for Photography Tel Aviv / Tiroche Deleon Collection.

- Maya Zack: Acting Memory, (Arles: Actes-Sud and Tel Aviv Museum of Art 2015)
- Maya Zack: The Shabbat Room , (Vienna: The Jewish museum Vienna and Verlag für moderne Kunst 2014)

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Director Statement

Maya Zack's work - videos, installations, drawings and computer-generated visualizations – deal with the human attempt to impose order and form onto reality in order to cope with its chaotic nature.

Zack's work reflects on the relation between memory and history; it seeks to develop an ontology of the sign and the trace through an almost obsessive occupation with objects and sites documentation and reconstruction.