JEWISH IDENTITY AND HISTORY IN CONTEMPORARY ART
November 08, 2012 17.00
As one of its highlighted themes, Art Market Budapest 2012 has created an art program attempting an examination and presentation of contemporary reflections on Jewish identity and history, and showing various aspects of the influence of Central and Eastern European Jewish culture on the arts. In Hungary, from the age of Enlightenment forward, there was an increasing number of choices open to Jews in how to live their Jewish identity, one of them being to reject it completely. With the escalation of anti-Jewish laws and then the Holocaust, this freedom to choose became seriously limited. Under Socialism, it was impossible to discuss and deal with the traumas endured: the only option was to pull a veil of silence over the matter. The repression of these memories still haunts us today. One of the purposes of art is to help us face our past without fear. What national and international examples for this do we have? What are the parallels and the differences between post-Socialist countries and the West? How is this past and Jewish identity reflected in contemporary art? What role does Jewish or other national or religious identity play in the creative work of contemporary artists?
Curator, Bauer & Ewald Gallery, Berlin
economist, former Director, Holocaust Memorial Center, Budapest