OST: Research (2015)

City audio-guide, 35:35 mins, mp3 players and earphones

Created during an exchange program in Thessaloniki, the audio guide unfolds the lives of Thessalonikian Jews past and present, opening alternative ways of experiencing the city. The poetic observations, fragmented narratives and elusive instructions heard in the voiceover are interwoven with a genre of popular Israeli songs that are based on the Greek repertoire, at time directly referencing the city. By their melancholy tone, they evoke the hardships attached to journeys of any kind – a theme that carries special significance for the Jews who left Greece, for whom it is the sound of the world they left behind, at once familiar and alien.

In English, OST stands for Original Sound Τrack. In German, however, it translates as ‘East’ – of particular relevance to Laufer, who lives in the formerly divided city Berlin. East is also the direction of prayer for European Jews. In Israel, Eastern music is the literal translation of the musical genre under which Greek music is classified. This genre – in Hebrew mizrahi music – combines elements from Southern Europe, North Africa and the Arab world.

Realized in the framework of Storefront Marketplace, the Contemporary Art Centre, Thessaloniki, and presented during Diasporas, an art project by the Babylon Cultural Center, October 2015

Playback (2014)

In collaboration with Persefoni Myrtsou. Single-channel video, 22:10 mins

Created during an exchange program in Thessaloniki, the video evokes a Karaoke experience that celebrates popular music among Greeks and Israelis. Spanning early 20th century ‘classics’ to contemporary trash-pop, the songs share similar melodies but differ in lyrical interpretation. For “Playback,” several Greek songs and their appropriated Israeli counterparts become hybrids, composed of fragments of video clips from YouTube uploads. Live performances, official music videos, stills, and fan interpretations in both countries are assembled into a carefully-composed audiovisual collage where the ‘familiar’ overshadows the ‘other’ as songs disintegrate and conjoin.

Realized in the framework of Storefront Marketplace, an exchange program and exhibition at the Contemporary Art Centre, Thessaloniki, 2014