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Claudia Joskowicz, Sympathy for the Devil, 2011, two-channel HD video projection, color, sound, 8 minutes.

Claudia Joskowicz

Forever & Today, Inc.

Claudia Joskowicz, Sympathy for the Devil, 2011, two-channel HD video projection, color, sound, 8 minutes.

Feuding with one’s neighbor will undoubtedly pressurize the already delicate politics of apartment life. Now imagine the amplified tensions that would arise if that neighbor were former Nazi Klaus Barbie, the so-called Butcher of Lyon, who is estimated to have been directly responsible for the deaths of approximately 4,000 people during the German occupation of France.

Claudia Joskowicz’s eight-minute two-channel video Sympathy for the Devil, 2011, re-creates just such a scenario, revealing something of the nature of the ideological jumble that resulted from South America’s post–World War II asylum-granting policies. Based on an anecdote from the 1970s told to Joskowicz by a relative, as well as on her own memories from childhood, the video stages an encounter in a Bolivian high-rise apartment building between two neighbors: a Polish-Jewish refugee and Barbie, then residing in La

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