Curator: Ewa Chomicka
Curator Assistant: Magda Konopka
Participating Artists: Luísa Nóbrega | Eliane Esther Bots | Tamara Moyzes & Shlomi Yaffe | Jasmine Bakalarz | Itay Ziv | Hubert Czerepok | Florencia Levy | Aslı Ç̧avuşoğlu & CENTRALA: Simone De Iacobis, Małgorzata Kuciewicz Kuciewicz | Lukas Ligeti | Maya Schweizer | Hagar Cygler | Patrycja Orzechowska
The artworks in From Near and Far Away: Dissenting Receptions of Jewish Warsaw express diverse approaches to the Jewish heritage of Warsaw. Warsaw is often a metonymy for Poland, a country rich with Jewish history, but marked by the tragic events of World War II, the post-war challenges of communism, and post-transformation rebirth. Poland, as the ancestral land for many Jews, is an identity point of reference for a significant part of the Jewish diaspora.
The works of artists from Poland, Israel and other countries explore multicultural Warsaw and Jewish identity from different perspectives and marked by topic, medium or personal background. Jewish and non-Jewish artists are featured, leading to an artistic dialogue or dispute: the common starting point – Warsaw’s Jewish heritage– reveals a polyphony of possible interpretations.
What is Jewish identity? What is the identity of Warsaw as a historical and contemporary center of Jewish life? What picture of Warsaw is formed from collective and individual memories and experiences of today? Who “belongs” here? These are just a few questions raised by the works, which include various media and genres. All revolved around the three categories: presence, absence and traces, and let them intertwine.
Seeking traces, the artists find both the real and symbolic contexts of contemporary Jewish daily life in Poland. Speaking of absence, the artists point to the hidden presence, revealing the physical and symbolic traces of the past, commenting loudly and falling silent. Exploring micro-histories, they provoke universal questions reaching far beyond the local context. Each of the works is accompanied by an essay written by an authority in the humanities: anthropology, film studies, philosophy, etc.
All the works in the exhibition were created in cooperation with POLIN Museum in Warsaw, Poland.
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