Doppelganger (1987)

Describing Doppelganger, Peggy Ahwesh writes: “It’s a portrait of my friend Renate, who was born in Berlin and spent her early childhood playing in the rubble after WW2. She tells stories and recites entries from her diary in both English and German, evoking history, trauma and lost loves. Shot in long verité-like takes, in Super 8 sound, with several color hand processed scenes.” Equally charming and disarming, intimate and harrowing, Doppelganger is a deeply introspective work that is concerned with the feeling of liberation that arises via confession, as well as the distortion of memory in time.

Ahwesh has been making films since the late 1970’s using narrative, documentary, and unconventional storytelling approaches whether scripted or improvised, to explore issues of family, identity, gender, sexuality, and the individual in our society.  Her work is at times humorous and at others, thoughtful and contemplative. To make these accessible yet provocative films, she has resorted to a variety of “amateur” mediums including Super8, found footage, Pixelvision Video, digital animation, and video games.

Ahwesh’s films have been screened extensively in both the US and abroad in festivals and venues including the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; the Balie Theater, Amsterdam; the Filmmuseum, Frankfurt; the Rotterdam International Film Festival, Rotterdam; Museu d’Art Contemporani Barcelona (MACBA), Barcelona; the Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus, Ohio; the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; Anat Ebgi, Los Angeles; and Microscope Gallery, New York.  She has been a recipient of the Alpert Award in the Arts, a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship, and grants from the Jerome Foundation, Creative Capital, and the New York State Council on the Arts. She teaches at Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, New York.

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