FRAGMENTS OF A LIFE – CURATED BY OLGA STEFAN

FRAGMENTS OF A LIFE – CURATED BY OLGA STEFAN

DANIEL SPOERRI, SAMY BRISS, OLGA STEFAN/MIKLOS KLAUS ROZSA/GABI BASALICI, ELIANNA RENNER, MYRIAM LEFKOWITZ, DAVID SCHWARTZ/ KATIA PASCARIU/ IOANA FLOREA/ ALICE MARINESCU, ROMULUS BALAZS, SIMCHA JACOBOVICI, DAN PAUL IONESCU, ADRIAN CIOFLANCA
CURATED BY OLGA STEFAN
JUNE 27-AUGUST 30, 2016
IASI, ROMANIA

http://unuplusunu.org

“Through personal narratives and biographical material, the multi-site and multi-media contemporary art exhibition explores the impact on the destinies of future generations of survivors of the events of June 27-June 30, 1941 in Iasi, when about 13,000 Jews were killed by the Romanian authorities at the behest of Marshal Ion Antonescu, Romania’s leader, in the largest pogrom in Europe.
Coinciding with the 75th anniversary of this dark moment in Romanian history, one that has been largely ignored by Romanian society and manipulated politically, the project in Iasi considers the impact of war, violence and persecution on the destinies of victims and their descendants, the past generation’s interrupted biographies that parallel those of today, albeit in other, less prominent, geographical areas like the Middle East.
Focusing on individual stories rather than grand narratives, “Fragments of a Life” addresses factual events from the perspective of those who experienced them or their descendants, while revealing the malleability of memory, affected by the subject’s time-perspective.
The exhibition will feature two parts: a historical one including a presentation of written material about the pogrom created by émigré writers who trace their roots to Iasi and who analyse this event through an autobiographical prism or through first-hand oral histories, and a contemporary art section that also features film screenings, discussions, and a theater play.
Like the historical section, the contemporary art projects produced for the exhibition are by artists whose fate brought them to Switzerland, Germany, Israel, and France yet they trace their roots to Iasi or other parts of Romania, from where their family were forced to flee by war or repressive politics. The projects are stories of migrations, displacement, assimilation, and forgetting, while reflecting on the notions of home, identity and belonging. Through this exhibition we connect the past to the present by bringing Switzerland, Germany, France, Israel and Romania together and revealing their historical connections through personal accounts and parallel routes of migration. The project also functions as a way to commemorate this tragedy with a different language, an artistic one, rather than a purely historical objectivity, thus accessing a younger generation living in Romania who is likely unaware of its country’s history.
The exhibition and events take place in art and cultural spaces that during the pogrom were located very close to, or were actually themselves former sites of street massacres, inherently carrying this forgotten history that although invisible today, needs to be reclaimed, and thus inevitably questioning how a city remembers its past.”
(Olga Stefan)

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