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 therefore into its historic 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