22.01.2020 – 29.03.2020


Remembering as artistic motif / motive

An Exhibition at The New Synagogue Berlin – Centrum Judaicum"I knew it was my job to do something to ensure that this vanished world would not fall completely into oblivion," wrote Roman Vishniac in the foreword to his photo book A Vanished World (New York 1983). How much unconscious, unknown do we carry - personally or collectively - on our inner shoulders through time? How many of these voids could, once torn from oblivion, evolve into learning opportunities of communication? How is the past present in the present and how does it influence us?The exhibition project Family Business aims to undertake a biographical and narrative search for the traces by gathering the work of thirteen international artists who refer to the Jewish history of their family or their origins and at the same time go far beyond it. The most varied narratives in the form of lived history meet.Life historical documents, biographical reconstructions and even fictions evoke the most incomprehensible human destinies and become a source of artistic creativity and debate. In a time in which the hunt for effects on the varnished path of superficiality makes a tradition of storytelling and a depth of feeling impossible, such narrative remembrance shows itself in ever new forms in order to point out its actuality.The artists of the exhibition use their means and media (photography, painting, object art, installation, film, sound, collage, performance) as sensitively as poetically and animate the process of seeing, listening and thinking. In its singular parts as well as in interplay, the exhibition intends to question identity and integrity by demanding empathy and tolerance where mere understanding seems impossible. Unfolding forces should bring stories and history closer in order to influence the presence and future. Work on recollection thus becomes an integrative process, in the sense that thinking and feeling cooperate and concern both artists and viewers/recipients.Their search leads the artists from their various places of residence into the world - to Poland, Germany, Austria, France, Iran, the United Kingdom, the USA or Argentina, for example - they pursue traces they believe to be lost, find answers and new questions: How do different pasts affect a complex present? What happens to educated narratives, what happens when they are strengthened or broken? How elastic and multi-layered can strained, vague concepts such as identity or homeland be?This exhibition about an art of remembrance and recollection conceives of itself as a major contribution to a culture of peace, worldwide.Artists Arnold Dreyblatt, Paula Elion, Olaf Kühnemann, Karolyn Morovati, Jessica Ostrowicz, Dodi Reifenberg, Miguel Rothschild, Nicola Rubinstein, Anna Schapiro, Maya Schweizer, Belle Shafir, Lili Sheer, Simcha ShirmanCurators Anke Paula Böttcher, Dorit Rubin Elkanati, Dr. Dorothea Schöne in cooperation with The New Synagogue Berlin – Centrum JudaicumOur thanks to all who supported this project.

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