The Danube Exodus: The Rippling Currents of the River (2002)

When Peter was a Visiting Scholar at the Getty Research Center in Los Angeles, in 2000, he approached us about doing an interactive installation based on his single channel video, The Danube Exodus, which had already been broadcast on European television. Michael Renov had suggested the collaboration to Peter, and once he saw the project we did with filmmaker Pat O’Neill, Tracing the Decay of Fiction, he was eager to go ahead with it. We went from a 60 minute video to 40 hours of film, which Peter edited for five screens. For us at Labyrinth, this was the first time we had set out to design a museum installation. After debuting at the Getty Center in Los Angeles in 2002, it travelled worldwide for the next 12 years. For a more detailed description of our collaboration, see my essay, “Reorchestrating History: Transforming The Danube Exodus into a Database Documentary,” in the anthology Cinema’s Alchemist: The Films of Péter Forgács, edited by Bill Nichols and Michael Renov. He proved to be a brilliant editor and a wonderful, generous collaborator. We all learned a great deal in the process.

Scott Mahoy, Peter Forgacs, Marsha Kinder, Kristy Kang, at the Ludwig Museum in Budapest Hungary