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Anat Gilboa: Imaging the Unimaginable. The Holocaust in Israeli Visual Culture

Dienstag, 10. Dezember 2019, 18:00 - 20:00

Wiener Wiesenthal Institute, Research Lounge, 1010 Vienna, Rabensteig 3, 3rd Floor


This talk analyses the reconstruction of traditional concepts of the ‘Jewish mother’ through visual culture. Based on the 1943 photograph of the Warsaw Ghetto by the Viennese-born Nazi officer Franz Konrad, Nir Hod, an Israeli-born artist, created a series of paintings entitled Mother (2012). In the series, one of the photographed women is painted on several large canvases. The work was influenced by the postwar German artist Gerhard Richter, whose photography-based paintings such as Onkel Rudi (1965) were important references for the Israeli artist. Hod chose to depict an overlooked female figure in the photo and painted her. As opposed to the German artist, whose paintings underline the importance of documenting Germany’s Nazi past and its ideology, Hod chose not to commemorate the past but to use the photograph to paint a better future.

In her talk, Dr. Gilboa will argue that Hod’s work is a visual discourse, promoting cultural internationality and gender equality. She will demonstrate that he utilises the photograph-based painting not just as a reminder of the past, but to offer alternatives to traditional assumptions. To support this argument, she will consider discussions such as Ulrike Brunotte’s studies on traditional gender roles in Judaism as well as in antisemitism. In summary, by dedicating a series of paintings entitled Mother to an overlooked female figure in a photograph of the Warsaw Ghetto, Nir Hod created a symbolic figure of a modern woman whose role as a ‘Jewish Mother’ is a manifestation of modernity.

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Please also note that, due to increased security measures, identity checking procedures may take place – Please have your passport or identity card at hand for any eventuality. By participating in this event, you agree to the publication of any photos, videos, or audio recordings created in the framework of the event.

Download the invitation as PDF.

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Das Wiener Wiesenthal Institut für Holocaust-Studien (VWI) wird gefördert von:


bmbwf 179


wienkultur 179


  BKA 179