Back to Berlin
Back to Berlin includes solo and group exhibitions of Israeli and international artists and curators whose work is affected by their stay in Berlin and attempts to cope with its charged history. It seems that today, Berlin is regaining the special status it has lost upon the rise of the Third Reich. Ever since the Wall came down in 1989 the city has once again become a vibrant cultural center, a hub for young artists from all over the world, enabling convenient living conditions compared to other major European capitals, and rich in generous residency programs for students and artists. Berlin has become a sane
and trendy alternative, and yet its history refuses to let go, and is present in every corner.
The exhibitions seek to offer perspectives focused on how a contemporary culture of
memory takes shape among artists who perceive themselves as members of the "third generation". They cope with Berlin's past by dealing with the great icons of German war and culture using practices of historical research or artistic reference. These indirect moves reflect not only the growing
historical distance from the events themselves, but also the way they are preserved in our consciousness and the emerging narrative of their transmission. Historian Boaz Neumann writes in the exhibition catalogue: "'Recollection', according to Kierkegaard, is a turn from a real-life present to a past that used to be but is no more. ‘Going back to the past', as opposed to recollection, assumes a total loss of the present, a loss which enables the returnee to find himself once more in square one. Whoever truly seeks to return to the past, rather than just recollect it, must therefore risk his present, his existence, and thereby regain it". Next year marks the 50th anniversary of formal diplomatic relations between Israel and Germany. It seems that the complex and enduring relationship between the nations continues to preoccupy us and seeks a space of articulation that has yet to be exhausted.
Two new exhibitions that represent a dialogue with the museum's permanent collection are displayed under the title Collection + a solo exhibition by the artist Zvi Lachman, verticals, and an exhibition of the Jacob Alkow Collection.
Dr. Aya Lurie
Director and Chief Curator