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jajf 2020 project

Vodník Many Years After the Rainstorm (2020)

Three-channel video 


Stills from Vodník Many Years After the Rainstorm, 2020

Using illustration, film, voiceover, and stop-motion animation, Emma Penaz Eisner created a multifaceted three-channel video installation about a fish-man creature from Czech folklore called the Vodnik. 


In her Jeffrey Ahn, Jr. Fellowship proposal, Emma described the Vodnik as looming large in her cultural consciousness and artistic development, thanks to the influence of her Czech immigrant mother and grandparents. Emma wrote, "The Vodník’s plight fascinates me. While he has human form and intellect, he is a water creature, relegated to live with fish in a lake. He repulses other human beings and, thus, is unlovable; he is utterly lonely and alone. His desperation for human love and companionship drives him to acts of profound cruelty, yet he is a paradoxically sympathetic creature because his yearning for love reflects the universal human struggle to combat existential loneliness and isolation." 

Emma's completed work, Vodnik Many Years After the Rainstorm (2020), will be exhibited with Jeffrey Ahn, Jr. Foundation's support in the near future. Meanwhile, a six-minute cinematic version of the work has been accepted to the Revelation Perth International Film Festival (world premiere: July 3, 2021).

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