Black Milk - Holocaust in Contemporary Art
A concentration camp built in Lego, a golden brooch inscribed with Jude, and a big pile of bleeding tree stumps are some of the works you will encounter at the exhibition Black Milk – Holocaust in Contemporary Art, which opens in January 2014.Thirteen international artists from Bolivia, Denmark, Israel, Poland, South Africa and USA all respond to the Holocaust in various ways, and from each of their cultural, and personal perspective. The works are surprising, some are confrontational, others are poetic and together they raise the question of how the Holocaust could or should be dealt with artistically today.
Artists: Miroslaw Balka (PL), Yvette Brackman (DK), Zoya Cherkassky (IL), Steven Cohen (ZA), Jonathan Horowitz (US), Claudia Joskowicz (BO), Menashe Kadishman (IL), Know Hope (IL), Zbigniew Libera (PL), Tom Sachs (US), Piotr Uklanski (PL), Gitte Villesen (DK), Artur Zmijewski (PL)
The exhibition’s title Black Milk comes from the poem Death Fugue from 1945, which describes the Romanian author Paul Celan’s own concentration camp experiences. The unexpected coalition of black and milk also reflects the exhibition’s contrasting works and the surprising ways in which the artists work with the Holocaust theme. The artists deal with themes such as victim versus torturer, enemy images, demagogy, collective memory and the after life in an inventive, and at times, untamed manner. They use well-known symbols and historical references, which are contextualized in novel ways, reflecting a contemporary perspective on Holocaust.
The participating artists and their varied voices and diverse works show us why and how the Holocaust is still present today as a historical trauma and as a symbol of man’s crime against humanity. Black Milk – Holocaust in Contemporary Art is the first special exhibition of it’s kind in Denmark.
Natalia Gutman, MA in Art History
Mette Truberg Jensen, MA in Visual Culture