Ilse Frech

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Ilse Frech Visual Art, Film & Photography | FRECHFILMS
Makassarstraat 256
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Dutch visual artist, filmmaker and documentary photographer Ilse Frech (1972, Amsterdam) is of Dutch-Macedonian descent. She studied Photography (1990-94) at the Royal Academy of Art – KABK, The Hague. Obtained a Master of Arts HES-SO in Fine Arts and Contemporary Artistic Practices, Major Work.Master at HEAD – Genève, the Swiss University of Art and Design (2011-13), working internationally since 1995. Frech was selected for World Press Photo Joop Swart Masterclass in 2003, her series series titled Private Life, received a nomination for the ICP Infinity Award for Documentary and Photojournalism, New York, in 2003. From 2003 Frech worked on long-term documentary photography– and film collaboration regarding, often intimate, projects on women and identity between France (Paris), and Russia, by 2010 Frech realised Zjeitu commissioned by The Rijksmuseum and NRC Handelsblad on behalf of the annual photography commission ‘Document Nederland’, as a result photographs of the project are conserved in The Rijksmuseum’s Photography Collection: Zjeitu, a sultry portrait of the Dutch Antilles, was exhibited at De Kunsthal, Rotterdam. 

A short fiction- and experimental documentary film Sweet Terror of Memory – ΨΙΘΥΡΟΙ (2018, 15′), a visual poem and triptych of historical- and fictional narrative based upon her Aegean Macedonian mothers’ biography, exile of The Greek Civil War (1946-48) unlocking genealogical heritage of trauma, had its premiere at the Nederlands Film Festival in Utrecht, September 2018. The film had been selected both for the Short Film Corner, Festival de Cannes in 2018, as well as in 2019 by Visions du Réel Festival International de cinéma Nyon (Switzerland), for its Media Library.

Artist in residence for three months in 2016 at Ashkal Alwan, Beirut – The Lebanese Association for Plastic Arts, in affiliation with Mondriaan Fund (NL), during which she researched Lebanese war trauma and its multiple carriers of memory, resulting in a twofold outcome: Fugacious Presence, a collaborative, improvisational performance and audiovisual installation, presented at Ashkal Alwan (27/05/16), besides ‘One’, A Letter to Eternity, concept for an interdisciplinary film-& visual art project, one of several projects in progress that Ilse Frech is currently developing and researching. In connotation with the latter, Frech took part in an international artist-led residency, research- and expedition programmesituated in Northern Chile, in the Atacama Desert, October 2023.

During the summer of 2023, Frech participated in a summer programme at the University of Amsterdam – Graduate School of Social Sciences: Arcane Worlds: New Frontiers in the Study of Esotericism, offered in cooperation with the Centre for the History of Hermetic Philosophy and Related Currents, the world’s leading institute for academic research and teaching in the field of (western) esotericism, located at the University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands.


Documentary, Film, Music and Theater, Travel