Workshop: Mirroring Evil Revisited
Organized by Susanne C. Knittel (Utrecht University) and Stéphanie Benzaquen-Gautier (Erasmus University Rotterdam)
This year marks the 15th anniversary of the controversial and groundbreaking exhibition Mirroring Evil at the Jewish Museum in New York City, which brought together a range of contemporary artworks revolving around Nazi imagery. The exhibition and the accompanying catalogue have become key reference points for art history, Holocaust studies, museum education, and, more recently, the emerging field of perpetrator studies. The major questions addressed by the exhibition at the time are still debated today: What role does art play vis-à-vis the memory of the Holocaust and other stories of extreme violence? How do museums curate “difficult knowledge”? How can we teach about perpetrators through visual and artistic media?
This two-day workshop will engage with these and related questions. It will bring together some key figures involved in the original exhibition alongside a younger generation of international artists, curators, educators and art historians to discuss issues such as empathy, voyeurism, fascination, and commodification in the context of the current refugee crisis, the radicalization of society, and the worrisome “un-democratization” happening in parts of the Western world. Concepts such as evil, ordinariness, and banality need to be critically revisited taking into account our transformed relation to mass media, images, and the pervasive visual representation of extreme violence, due to advanced technologies of communication and the rise of participatory forms of activism and citizenship.
For more information please contact Susanne C. Knittel (firstname.lastname@example.org).