Posted Ian Shulman
How should a Holocaust art look like? Are there any functions which it needs to execute? Should it follow any cautious guidelines; inspire any actions or thoughts; inform, remind or alarm? Adolf Frankl’s permanent exhibition in Vienna, called ‘Art against oblivion’ (‘Kunst gegen das Vergessen’), seems to have its own mission too. Yet his paintings approach Holocaust from a very personal and, therefore, a very unobvious viewpoint.
Adolf Frankl was born in 1903 in Bratislava and studied art with renown Slovak artists of his time. During his studies he also worked as a cartoonist and a painter. Being Jewish, In 1944 Frankl and his family were captured and transported to Sered’ concentration camp. Having spent a bit more than a month there, the painter was deported to Auschwitz. Later Frankl was moved to a typhus barrack in Althammer (Stara Kuznia), a neighbouring camp of Auschwitz. In 1945, he was saved by the Red Army. Right after his rescue, the artist moved back to Bratislava and started to work on his most prominent creation, inspired by what he has seen during the Holocaust - the cycle ‘Visions from Inferno’. In 1949 the communist regime has forced Frankl to leave Bratislava again, his ‘beloved native town’ as he called it in the names of his paintings. This time the artist has left his town forever. Frankl lived in Vienna, New York and Germany and died in Vienna in 1983.
Frankl has devoted more than 50 years of his life to art. Learning painting in the interwar Central Europe, the artist couldn’t remain unaffected by the major tendencies, which have drastically changed the fine arts. His works were to a certain extent inspired by Chagall, Picasso as well as by lesser known artists.
Holocaust is not the only topic of Frankl’s countless paintings - but among his cartoons or scenes of the pre-war life in Bratislava or Vienna, it obviously plays the central role. The artists takes a very individual touch to the representation of this topic. According to the memories of Thomas Frankl, the artist’s son who runs the exhibition in Vienna, Adolf has hardly spoken about his Holocaust memories. Instead, these memories were voiced through his art.
But apart from artist’s war memories and sketches, Frankl’s works feature many reflections, full of hidden and apparent comparisons, symbols and metaphors. Thus, Frankl constructs Adolf Eichmann’s face from the bodies of suffering victims (‘Adolf Eichmann - anthropomorphic description’); while countless faces, figures and Bratislava city patterns can be found on a mosaic-like ‘Remembrance of the Bratislava rabbis’. Being an important element of Frankl’s inspiration, Bratislava is beautifully portrayed on ‘The approaching doom’, where mysterious faces and images, symbolizing the nearing disaster, have filled the sky over a picturesque city skyline.
The dynamism, inherent to Frankl’s paintings, is aimed to depict the transformations, which happen to human nature in times of disorder. These transformations are, again, approached from a metaphorical, maybe even slightly ‘naive’ viewpoint (which is rather mentioned in the context of ‘naive art’ than literally). ‘The tornado’ portraits ‘the eruption of evil and the animalistic inhumanity are portrayed in the numerous figures’, and ‘The persecutors’ intends to ‘describe the hatred of human creatures becoming animals. It is the wild animals with their bloodthirsty mouths chasing the weak and defenceless ones’.
Apart from the permanent exhibition in Vienna, opened in 2006 at Judenplatz, the historic center of Viennese Jewish life, Frankl’s paintings have been presented at various shows during the past forty years in Austria, Germany, Israel, Poland, the USA, Italy, and, finally, in Slovakia.
Slovakia has an especially significant meaning in this list. Thomas Frankl recalls accompanying his father in his trips to the Austrian borderline, where only a border fence separated him from his beloved city of Bratislava. Frankl could clearly see the Bratislava castle and the city skyline on the other bank of the Danube, on the other side of the Iron Curtain, with no hope to ever come back to the city of his birth. Years after the artist’s death in his ‘Viennese exile’, his paintings have eventually passed the already fallen border.
Frankl’s art offers an offbeat approach to the hard and constrained topic of Shoa. Being very personal by default, these paintings do not aim to win the masses. Yet, their ability to fascinate and puzzle does not need to be proven.
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February 15, 2013 | 1:16 am
Posted Dana Addadi
My 'Tu B'Shvat' celebration started when I came across an ad calling for volunteers to come and give a hand in establishing an urban farm in the middle of 'Shchoona Gimel' (3rd district) Be'er Sheva. The invitation was signed by the organization, Shvuat Ha Adama (Earth's Promise) , which was founded by a young couple, and sponsored by Issac Hamez and World KKL in partnership with the municipality of Be'er Sheva and Kalisher Absorption Center, which accommodates newcomers from the 'Palashmura' clan of Ethiopia.
Adam Joshua Ganson and Moran Slakmon started the project 4 years ago with a vision: To use the most fundemental element in bringing people of a community together: the land.
The 3rd district of Be'er Sheva is strongly assocoated with low economical class, less fortunate population and societal tension.
This is where the couple chose to base their headquarters from which they supervise the development of at least two more southern urban farms of the same model as they grow. The intention of the two is to supply the foundations for realizing the concept, while the execution itself is left to the locals, who gladly take upon the oppurtunity handed to them. They launch the starting point, considering all conditions necessary for the miracle to happen in the target community, knowing the community could easily take off from there.
What are the conditions required for an ideal farm in the city, so it could be sustainable and benefficial for all?
We are now on the second phase of our work here: putting the citrus orchard for the enjoyment of all members of the neighborhood. We check first options of the topography; in Kalisher Garden, for example, there's a clear slope coming down the hill, which could be naturally used in this climate. This area is prone to many floods followed by dry days. Digging channels in the soil to accumulate extra water is an old Nabatic system aimed to keep the water in the ground. It's ecological and economical.
But what you can see allready in use to the right is the garden. That was initally dedicated solely to the residents of the absorption center. We got many seeds of original plants from Ethiopia, the 'Palashmura' are used to working with, like "Gomen" (a kind of lettuce), and we encourge them to try out local mediterianan seeds like eggplants, though it's not an ingredient of the traditional Ethiopian menu.
The 50 familes living in the absorption center at the front are working here for their own food. Each family to its own flowerbed.
The final stage will be the farm behind. For this we went to the local businesses in town asking them what would they like us to grow, to ensure that they will buy the farm’s products. This way we also use a naturally deserted place; and naturally making the city more beautiful and, of course, green. We supply a new pool of local organic food, without using any gas or diesel to deliver it, or a big network of supermarkets to sell it. Most important of all: this kind of system is not only about going green and healthy, it is also important to strengthen the local coin: Money stays in, and so does labor and time—those don't run out of the borders of the neighberhood.
To top it all, there's a crucial social effect to what we are doing: not only the newcomers are meeting the old residents at their back yard, but all people of the neighberhood are invited to take part in a real co-operative: whoever gives time of work in the farm. Local businesses and other community services are giving back time and products by the hour. Our favourite Falafel vendor has just joined the operation; dancing lessons and Hebrew teaching and all kind of barters are being swapped with the working hands like good old classic trading.
This is it, I pulled my sleves up, ready to plant my first tree this year with the Palashmura for their first Tu B'Shvat in Israel. I look at Moran and Adam and with their co-ordinator Ateret I started following their skilled smooth movements as they deal with the dirt. Trying to adapt to myself a true serious look of a farmer, even if just for one day.
Join Shvuat Adama on Facebook.
January 21, 2013 | 12:53 pm
Posted Dana Haddadi
Gay tourism in Tel Aviv given by:
Role: Gay Branding consultant
ü A Proud Israeli
ü A proud Tel Avivian
ü A proud Jew
ü A proud gay single boy
- At 2008, the year of the Tel Aviv's 100 anniversary the 'Cultural Pride Center' was established, in 'Meir Garden'.
-On 2009 during a youth educational activity in the city's LGBT association house an un-known assassinate enter the house with a gun and manage to hit 8 young boys and girls- most of them under-aged; 2 of them were killed. The crime remains unsolved.
- In 2010 Ministry of tourism with Tel Aviv city hall took the new marketing strategy considering Tel Aviv beaches (and bitches) to attract gays from all over the world, thus investing around 340 thousands Shekels on a pride oriented campaign. i.e. no more 'wailing' wall and other holly places.
-In 2012, the most established well known Gay Party line of Brussels name 'La Demence', fixed Tel Aviv as the final destination of their pleasure cruise; By doing so, it has crowned Tel Aviv to be their Gay Capital.
Tourist have been said to give back to the city when here around 10 million… and they clame Tel Aviv feels like their home.
-First Transgender marriage service (civil i.e. without a Rabbi) took place this January in Israel for the first time;
Same sex partners still cannot get married in Israel (Halachlically wise, which is state wise) and neither to bring together babies with a surrogate.
December 11, 2012 | 9:26 am
Posted by Klaudia Klimek
Up to 1945 Trzebiatów now a town of Polish West Pomerania was part of Germany. The history of the last 60 years, gradually erased all traces of the former local Jewish community. Devastated during Kristallnacht, the synagogue survived the war, but was demolished in the early years after the arrival of the new settlers. The Jewish cemetery was destroyed in the early 70s. The city without those places and forms of commemoration lacked the memory of the people.
It might have been like that still, but thanks to Krzysztof Baginski, a resident of Trzebiatow and a student of Warsaw Academy of Fine Arts and his project this can change.
The main feature of his project "Ner Tamid" is its apparent immateriality. The project is based on the technical properties of the ultraviolet radiation. Located on the eastern wall of the building (and the former eastern wall of the synagogue) the word "Ewiges Licht / נר תמיד / Wieczne Światło" made with colorless ultraviolet paint, will be visible only after dark, with a special UV lamp. The inscription, though physically exists, is readable only by highlighting that will take place for 8 nights connecting it to the holidays of Hanukkah. However, it began on Dec. 9, in the second of the eight days of the holidays and will end one day later symbolically extending the memory of the Jews of Trzebiatów.
The project is co-organized by the Cultural Centre of Trzebiatów, Jewish Community in Szczecin and Vocational Training Centre in Trzebiatów. The project was granted full support of the mayor of Trzebiatów Mr Zdzisław Matusewicz.
The illumination of the monument was accompanied by lectures and workshops related to the presence of Jews in Trzebiatów and Poland which were organized by the members of the Young Jews Club “Be’Yahad” from the Jewish Community in Szczecin.
October 11, 2012 | 1:15 pm
Posted Dana Addadi
Jewrotica- a social hub for the many facets of Jewish sexual expression was launched this week parallel to the celebrations of Simchat Tora.
Jewrotica wishes to bring you everything from rabbinic responses to issues such as homosexuality and kink, to reflections on relationships, to straight-up erotic content, and will spark much discussion.
Mainly, the content of what will be found on Jewrotica will be determined by the readers and writers themselves, so declares Ayo Oppenheimer, the founder and editor of Jewrotica, currently located in Texas.
believes greatly in the potential of her passionate crew, and so her main intention is merely to provide the structure that will hold the flame supplied by the people for the benefit of the other people.
Oppeheimer hopes Jewrotica will maintain a variable and pluralistic debate as possible, and will keep a clear orientation of an on-line international community. And so, she plans to expand with Jewrotica from the virtual space of the web to in-person resource in the future: hosting workshops and speakers in Jewish communities nation-wide.
In order to be sensitive to the diverse audience pieces will be tagged according to a rating system that allows further inclusiveness and freedom for the reader to choose the pieces most appropriate for themselves
Jewrotica was born at the 2012 ROI Summit and is an initiative supported by the Schusterman Foundation, as well as a friend of the popular Jewish cultural site Jewlicious.
We invite you to visit www.jewrotica.org, and get on with your sexy confession. Personal request- please be naughty.