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Past Exhibitions - 2008

The Hanukkah Project: The Sound of Light by Julianne Swartz

The Hanukkah Project: The Sound of Light by Julianne Swartz

December 21, 2008 - March 15, 2009


The Jewish Museum's biennial exhibition The Hanukkah Project celebrates Hanukkah with works of art by leading contemporary artists. The Sound of Light is an interactive installation by Julianne Swartz that guides visitors with sound through the museum's permanent exhibition Culture and Continuity: The Jewish Journey. This site-specific work on the third and fourth floors is inspired by the Hanukkah story and the miracle of light.

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Chagall and the Artists of the Russian Jewish Theater, 1919-1949

November 9, 2008 - March 22, 2009


Through paintings, costume and set designs, posters, photographs, film clips and theater ephemera this exhibition brings to light an exhilarating but fleeting moment in the cultural history of the Soviet Union when innovative visual artists joined forces with avant-garde playwrights, actors, and theatrical producers.

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Susan Hiller: The J. Street Project

November 9, 2008 - February 1, 2009


Artist Susan Hiller researched every German street that has the prefix "Juden" (Jews) in its name. The street signs she found mark the absence of Jewish communities that lived in Germany before the Holocaust. Hiller has created a grid of 303 photographs arranged alphabetically by location, along with a map of Germany, a list of sites, and a video documenting the hundreds of locations she identified throughout the country.

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Theaters of Memory: Art and the Holocaust

November 9, 2008 - February 1, 2009


Theaters of Memory presents work by eight artists who have addressed the histories surrounding the Second World War, the atrocities of genocide and mass destruction, and their attendant moral devastation. From the self-consciously dramatic to the intensely self-contained, the works respond to the drama of incomprehensibility and traumatic historical memories. The eight artists are presented in three galleries and include works by George Segal, Tadeusz Kantor, and Matthew Buckingham.

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1942 (Poznan): A Video by Uriel Orlow

November 9, 2008 - February 1, 2009


1942 (Poznan) memorializes a place, a people, and one of the darkest periods in European history. The video begins with a close-up of a tiled floor. The camera then rises to reveal an indoor pool with a lone swimmer in slow motion. As a cantor chants a memorial prayer in Hebrew, the camera exposes the building's vaulted ceiling and seating area above the main entrance, revealing the building's history. Orlow's video is a provocative reflection on the uses of former synagogues in once-vibrant Jewish communities decimated by Nazism and forgotten under Communism

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Otiyot

Otiyot

October 30, 2008 - January 4, 2009


Leola Bermanzohn will produce a temporary, site-specific mural in the basement lobby of The Jewish Museum. Otiyot (Letters) responds to the script of the Dead Sea Scrolls as well as the spiritual and sacred significance of the letters themselves. Bermanzohn reinvents the Hebrew alphabet in a colorful manner inspired by ancient calligraphy and contemporary street art. Bermanzohn may be observed working on the mural Thursday nights for six weeks starting October 30.

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The Dead Sea Scrolls: Mysteries of the Ancient World

September 21, 2008 - January 4, 2009


In 1947, a significant discovery of ancient Jewish texts was made in a cave near the Dead Sea. These and other Dead Sea Scrolls found later have shed light on the major transformations and debates that occurred in ancient worship during the first centuries BCE and CE, that contributed to the development of early Judaism and Christianity. This exhibition will present six Dead Sea Scrolls complemented by objects excavated from the site near where they were found. Three of the scrolls have never been exhibited, including a portion of one of the three earliest copies of the Hebrew Bibles in existence, and three others have never been shown in New York.

more | online feature

Mother Economy: A Film by Maya Zack

July 1, 2008 - October 23, 2008


Mother Economy, a 20-minute film by Israeli artist Maya Zack, is a meditation on Holocaust remembrance and loss. In Zack’s video, a frugal, industrious woman locates objects belonging to absent family members and proceeds to inventory, catalog, and assign them numerical values. Using the data in equations and formulas, she meticulously transforms kugel (noodle pudding) into an economic pie chart. With reports of World War II broadcast over the radio, the lonely protagonist maintains order and composure through domestic rituals. Sketched portraits of relatives, as well as personal artifacts traced on paper, serve as memorials to the dead.

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Action Abstraction

Action/Abstraction: Pollock, de Kooning, and American Art, 1940-1976

May 4, 2008 - September 21, 2008


A fresh look at the painting and sculpture that transformed the art world in the years after World War II. Action/Abstraction: Pollock, de Kooning, and American Art, 1940-1976 features over fifty key works of postwar art, revealing the cultural and intellectual framework of Abstract Expressionism, the movements that followed it, and popular culture's fascination with the art and artists of the period.

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Warhol's Jews: Ten Portraits Reconsidered

Warhol's Jews: Ten Portraits Reconsidered

March 16, 2008 - August 3, 2008


This exhibition of Andy Warhol's ten "Jewish genius" paintings from 1980, presented 28 years after their initial showing at The Jewish Museum, depicts renowned luminaries of Jewish culture: Sarah Bernhardt, Louis Brandeis, Martin Buber, Albert Einstein, Sigmund Freud, George Gershwin, Franz Kafka, the Marx Brothers, Golda Meir, and Gertrude Stein. Warhol's iconic portraits attest to the lasting achievements and fame of these singular figures.

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Off the Wall: Artists at Work

March 16, 2008 - March 27, 2008


Off the Wall: Artists at Work is a two-week open studio project featuring 11 artists working and performing in the galleries. Representing a new generation with strong Jewish social networks or a familiarity with Jewish rituals and symbols, artists will create a work-in-progress and exhibit other work in various media including fashion, music, performance art, video and new technologies. Events include concerts, salons, a runway show, and a Purim party.

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Art, Image, and Warhol Connections

March 16, 2008 - August 3, 2008


Art, Image, and Warhol Connections presents works by seven artists who directly respond to Andy Warhol or employ techniques often associated with Warhol’s oeuvre. This exhibition is on view in the contemporary gallery of the Museum’s permanent exhibition Culture and Continuity: The Jewish Journey.

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Oil/Water—Mother/Daughter: Video and Photography by Mor Arkadir

March 9, 2008 - June 22, 2008


The documentary film Oil, Water (2005) and photograph Overlap (2004) by Mor Arkadir, winner of the 2005 Adi Prize for Jewish Expression in Art and Design, explore the intersection between the artist’s secular world and her mother’s religious observance. Oil, Water is a 14-minute film depicting a 24-hour road trip in which mother and daughter confront generational differences, conflicting belief systems, and engine troubles. Arkadir's portrait Overlap depicts a microcosm of Israeli society that is at once diverse and contradictory.

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Pomegranate: A Video by Ori Gersht

March 9, 2008 - August 21, 2008


Referencing a still life by 16th century Spanish artist Juan Sánchez Cotán, Ori Gersht’s eerie and painterly video features a ripe pomegranate dangling from a string and framed with other freshly harvested produce in a window. In slow motion a bullet slices through the fruit—a food symbolic of Bible, Jewish law, and Near Eastern culture—spraying blood-red seeds and flesh in the air.

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1109 5th Ave at 92nd St
New York NY 10128

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