An exhibition devoted to the Holocaust at the Jewish Museum in New York has resulted in a series of protests by several Jewish organisations.
Aimed at showing how artists were recuperating the imagery of the Holocaust, the exhibition titled “ Mirroring Evil” opened on March 17th 2002 amid a series of protests.
Thirteen Israeli, American or European artists have been selected to show their works based on the Holocaust, which exhale their feelings about an obsessive tragic episode of the Second World War.
Joan Rosenbaum, head of the Jewish Museum, admitted it was difficult to be confronted to such reflections on the Holocaust but felt it was the duty of this institution to show and encourage a discussion on a very sensitive subject.
Those who protested against such venue retorted that the genocide had nothing to do with art.
It is a fact that certain works are rather shocking, such as those by Polish artist Piotr Uklanski for whom the images of the Second World War and the Holocaust have filled his life via movies and the television.
From floor to ceiling Uklanski has decorated a room of the museum with two black and white portraits of Adolf Hitler and Marcel Duchamp produced by Heinrich Hoffmann while videos of Nazi propaganda films by Leni Riefenstahl are being shown to the public.
In another room, there are also six busts of Joseph Mengele, who conducted hundreds of murderous experiments in Auschwitz. These works, produced by Scottish artist Christine Borland are aimed at showing the contradiction between the seemingly good looking Mengele and what he was in fact.
Lego boxes assembled by Polish artist Zbigniew Libera show a concentration camp, a crematory and a gas chamber with figures of executioners and prisoners being tortured.
American artist Tom Sachs has reproduced a mock-up of the number 4 crematory chamber of Auschwitz titled “the Death Door” with a hat box bearing the “Prada” trade-mark suggesting that like fascism fashion means a loss of one's identity.