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The Mediterranean Sea, Tyr, Lebanon. Photography by Ilse Frech, 2016.

My essay of a quintessential journey started almost three years ago, when I resided in Beirut, Lebanon, as artist-in-residence at Ashkal Alwan Lebanon starting March 2016. Home again, three months later, I tried to summarize my stay, that one could depict as if belonging to a wuthering Greek tragedy that took place centuries ago. A story compiled of real characters, true events bringing forth intensely felt emotions of love, disgust, awe, inspiration, death, self-hate, forgetting, heroism, deep wounding of the soul and its way towards transformation, I could come up with only one phrase:

The earth is a place where…


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Amorgos, Greece 2016 — Photograph & copyright by Ilse Frech.

It will be twenty-seven years ago, that my father passed away. That evening I heard birds singing, as loud as they did during my father’s short sickbed of only six weeks. They were the first weeks of spring, in the year 1992. It was mid May, when we experienced our very last moment of saying our last words to one another. What to say, for a father to his daughter and for a daughter to her father, when the moment of truth has come? I can tell you that since, my life was about to become a rollercoaster, of a…


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Greenland Ice Melt, photograph copyright by Ian Joughin, University of Washington

As I went to see or rather, experience, the VR presentation of RISING by Marina Abramovic at EyeFilmmuseum, I didn’t know what to expect. I must say, I’m a fan when it comes to VR, I truly love to look around, wander in a universe not known to me, for it’s virtual — so anything can happen, yet, I’m aware that I’m standing on my socks with both my feet in Eye. …


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Amorgos, Griekenland 2016 – Photograph & copyright by Ilse Frech.

Een lok goudblond haar valt over haar ranke schouder. Ze knippert met haar ogen en kijkt, haar ogen toegeknepen, door lange krulwimpers en slaakt een zucht. Vragend kijkt ze me aan.

Of we begrijpen kunnen in wat voor een wereld we leven, zonder eerst te begrijpen wie we zelf zijn, en wat we hier op aarde komen doen, herhaalt ze. Ze spreekt lijzig, zangerig, met een stem zo ijl dat de klank met elke vlaag wind meegenomen wordt, waardoor woorden uit haar zin ontbreken en ik me steeds dichter naar haar toe buig. Amalia is haar naam.

Wat is het…

Ilse Frech

Filmmaker. Documentary photographer. A poetic observant of reality, Frech explores the meaning of art in relation to identity, Body Politic, sense of belonging.

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