The Holocaust and Visual Culture with Jennie Hirsh

The Holocaust and Visual Culture with Jennie Hirsh


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This webinar will explore how artists, architects, and curators have creatively attempted to honor the memory of Holocaust victims while also reminding viewers, more broadly, of the dangers of genocide that must never be repeated.

Led by an expert on postwar memorial visual culture and the aesthetics of fascism, Jennie Hirsh, this interactive seminar will consider different strategies employed by artists, architects, and curators whose work addresses the Holocaust, arguably one of the most challenging subject matters for visual representation.

"As always, great, unique information shared by a true expert and aficionado."

Put otherwise, this conversation will explore how postwar visual culture connected to the Holocaust has evolved and shifted over the past 75 years, considering not only the figurative but also the abstract art and monuments that have emerged. Various case studies that employ humor and play as well as reverence and grief will illustrate the ethical dilemmas surrounding this subject matter as we review the particular challenges that have surrounded the design of exhibitions, museums, and even films that focus on the holocaust and other genocides. Looking at examples of artists and architects, as well as museum exhibitions, hailing from France, Germany, Israel, Italy, Poland, and the U.S., we will explore how artists, architects, graphic novelists, and filmmakers have attempted to make tangible what amounts to an unrepresentable loss of human life resulting from the Holocaust.

"She was clear, knowledgeable, enthusiastic. Excellent material."

Designed to inform curiosity as well as future travels and reading, participants will come away with an increased understanding of not only how artists have grappled creatively with appropriate strategies for memorializing the victims of genocide through painting, sculpture, photography, illustrations, installations, and monuments.

Jennie Hirsh (PhD, Bryn Mawr College) is Professor of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Maryland Institute College of Art. She has held postdoctoral fellowships at Princeton and Columbia Universities, as well as pre-doctoral fellowships from the Mrs. Giles Whiting Foundation, the U.S. Fulbright commission, the Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation, and the Wolfsonian FIU. Hirsh has authored essays on artists including Giorgio de Chirico, Giorgio Morandi, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Yinka Shonibare, and Regina Silveira, and is co-editor, with Isabelle Wallace, of Contemporary Art and Classical Myth (Ashgate 2011).

This conversation is not suitable for children under age 12.

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.