Effroi- Réservoir, argentic photography, color, 2m x 1,35m, 2005
Effroi- Réservoir 2, argentic photography, color, 2m x 1,35m, 2005
Effroi, 5’30, 2005

Natacha Nisic came up with the idea for ‘Dread’ after travelling to Auschwitz to make a film
for the Holocaust memorial, La Porte de Birkenau. On the last day of filming, she took two
photos of a reservoir in the camp. A toad was sitting on a ladder that disappeared down
into the water in the tank’s left corner. Just as she took the second photo, another toad
appeared from out of the depths. It was only when she developed and enlarged the photos
that she discovered that a terrifying shape had appeared in the stagnant water.
It was only later that she decided to question the character of this image and possibly to
find an answer. In March 2005, she returned to the site of this first strange experience “to
try and force the hand of destiny and film the action as it happens.”
The artist, barely visible in the frame, dives into the water, comes out immediately and
runs away. “This film is an answer to the first photographic act and what it provoked, like a
reversal of the image process, a work in negative. Life is given back to the water’s surface,
to this body of water and to all it may contain.”
‘Dread’s viewpoint questions how memories are transmitted. We stand here, confronted
with a feeling of dread, in a no man’s land unable to go forward or back. Showing the original
two photos and the film together is an interrogation of their status. “How the invisible is
made visible when traces on a photo go beyond impressions on the retina. The image
is present in the interstice between what we thought we saw and what we think we see,
somewhere between symbolic interpretation and documentary evidence.”

Related works
Le Mémorial des enfants
La porte de Birkenau