Legenda in MeMoriam

Cornelia Renz & Belle Shafir

MuMo Praha 24/10/2019 – 25/3/2020

Opening reception 23/10 19:00

Catalogue launch event 29/1/2020 18:00


The exhibition Legenda in MeMoriam presents the art of Belle Shafir (Israel) and Cornelia Renz (Germany) and reflects the personal memories of both of these artists.  The two of them were born into German culture and its historical context. 

The influence of the recent German history on their personalities and working methods, by which memories of the traumatic experiences passed on to them by previous generations are reflected in their contemporary art. This is a process which moderates the artistic direction of the two of them. The project not only examines and brings closer the basic elements in their work based on memories and their interpretation, but also the entire process of trauma, reflection and healing. 

At the present time we, mainly here in Europe, are living through an era when our children’s generation is not burdened by wars. Let this geneneration grasp the opportunity together with us, witnesses of the traumas of our parents and grandparents, and expand on the experiences of previous generations, therefore the experiences passed on to us, and in so doing try in the future to obviate the depressions and neuroses stemming from past crimes. In fact, those who belong to the first generation often steer clear of discussions relating to the past and mainly relate to those experiences that they themselves lived through. Nonetheless, these family secrets, albeit not mentioned directly, always remained present within the family. This then led to some members of the second generation opening up on these themes and this not only so as to put their own lives in order.    

It is therefore not futile to seize every opportunity to spread awareness of these psycho-social problems and stressful situations of which every generation certainly has a whole array. The tragedies of the last century remain for the present unsurpassed. We need to expound on the horrors which were committed, especially on their consequences to our descendants, as a warning signal. Art is one of the ways that helps to detect and heal, it can provide solace and opportunity for meeting and coming together. 

Both artists were born in Germany.  Belle Shafir emigrated to Israel after her studies, while Cornelia Renz now lives and works in Berlin as well as Jerusalem.  They have a fascination for memories, legends and the fairy tales which they heard during childhood or that have quietly circulated within their families or in their vicinity, stories dating right back to the Middle Ages, as well as from later times, including the holocaust. The exhibition contains video images, large-scale paintings, collages, small sculptures, as well as installations specific to their venue.  

Exhibition curators: Dadja Altenburg Kohl, Hagai Segev 

Interview: Cornelia Renz & Belle Shafir

Cornelia Renz, Artist

Cornelia Renz lives and works in Berlin and Jerusalem. Her work emanates from the tradition of figurative painting. It hints at how reality can be influenced by social conventions, individual understanding and cultural paradigms or their models. The work often proceeds from paintings with existing painterly tendencies, legends, even naturalistic religious themes or photographs and family albums from her Bavarian homeland. In her paintings one can find traces of violence and sexuality, often with ironic undertones.

Belle Shafir, Artist

Multimedia artist Belle Shafir was born in Germany and has been living in Israel since 1972, where she has been actively involved in art for over 20 years. In recent years, Belle Shafir has begun to process a collection of family photographs, alongside a range of disparate materials like horsehair, waxed threads or old Japanese diaries. In this way she recreates tales from the depths of personal and collective memories, combining them together in installations and pictures so as to recount events not only from her own life and so initiating the process of reconciliation and healing.

Hagai Segev, Curator

Hagai Segev is an independent art curator and art critique active in Israel and Czech Republic: Initiating and producing projects in fine art and history. As an art historian with background in archaeology, architecture and contemporary art, Mr. Segev has worked as a guest curator in many museums and galleries in Israel: the Israel Museum, Jerusalem; The Bible Lands Museum, Jerusalem; Petach Tikva Museum of Art; Eretz Israel Museum; Ein Harod Art Museum, ICC, Krakow and many others.

Dadja Altenburg Kohl, professional career in the arts 

Professor Dadja Altenburg-Kohl is a physician by calling.  In parallel with her career in medicine she also trained in the field of fine arts. 30 years ago she began to establish a number of art collections for diverse companies in Germany.  For many years she worked in cooperation with Government of the Saar region in Germany on the board of the European Cultural Forum in Berlin.  As a curator she has been active in the organisation of projects between the Czech Republic and Germany.  

In 2009 she started in Prague by founding the non-profit-making Montanelli Gallery in Nerudova Street and in 2009 she opened the Museum Montanelli under the auspices of Václav Havel. This Prague museum stepped out into wide cultural awareness in the Czech Republic and has been designated the most prestigious private museum in Prague.  Since then it has held dozens of exhibitions both at home and abroad and cooperates with a variety of highly esteemed institutions both in the Czech Republic and around the world. 


Velvyslanectví Spolkové republiky Německo v ČR
Českoněmecký fond budoucnosti
Velvyslanectví Státu Izrael
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