— the Hanukkah Message?
Mice with a vice
Photo: CC-BY Michal Friedlander
I have been using the same Hanukkah lamp for nearly 20 years. I find it aesthetically-challenging and totally impractical: it is difficult to clean and the candles fall out. Yet I persist in using it because it provokes me to think. When I put the illuminated, figurative lamp on the windowsill to publicly “proclaim the Hanukkah miracle of light,” the same three questions always resurface in my mind: “Who designed this lamp?,” “What were they thinking?,” and, “Are Mickey and Minnie Mouse actually Jewish?” → continue reading
Impressions of the “Obedience” Exhibition, from Muslim and Christian Perspectives
Silke Radosh-Hinder and Emine Erol in the “Golden Room” © Jewish Museum Berlin, photo: Svea Pietschmann
During the recent “Long Night of Museums” event, visitors were given a unique introduction to our current temporary exhibition “Obedience. An Installation in 15 Rooms by Saskia Boddeke & Peter Greenaway,” when the imam Emine Erol and the pastor Silke Radosh-Hinder led guided tours together. We asked the two women what they made of the occasion, and whether the joint guided tours had opened up novel views and perspectives on the biblical story.
Ms Erol, Ms Radosh-Hinder, would each of you describe the exhibition in your own words?
Silke Radosh-Hinder: For me, the exhibition is above all an opportunity to examine the story of the Binding of Isaac from a myriad of perspectives.
Emine Erol: The primary focus of the Obedience exhibition is the frame of mind of Ismael/Isaak respectively of his father Abraham. By prompting an emotional response and reflection, it helps visitors understand, ultimately, that such surrender may be dangerous or possibly even fatal—and also to understand what may motivate it. → continue reading
A Conversation about the Exhibition “Obedience”
The exhibition “Obedience. An Installation in 15 Rooms by Saskia Boddeke & Peter Greenaway,” which has just been extended for two months, prompts extremely varied visitor responses. Atalya Laufer and Marc Wrasse regularly give guided tours of the exhibition. They talked to me recently about the experiences they’ve had, how they see the exhibition, and what they believe is at the root of visitors’ reactions.
Mirjam Wenzel: What form do your guided tours of the exhibition take?
Visitor in the “Golden Room” with manuscripts of the three monotheistic religions © Jewish Museum Berlin, photo: Jule Roehr
Marc Wrasse: We don’t so much guide visitors as accompany them on a three-step journey of discovery. We welcome the group and give a brief introductory talk, during which we point out that the Museum commissioned two artists to create the exhibition. Then, together with the visitors, we read aloud the relevant passage of the Bible—incidentally, the translation by Moses Mendelsohn—before leaving them to the exhibition.
Atalya Laufer: I prefer to use the translation by Martin Buber and Franz Rosenzweig.
Marc: But you too use roleplay, do you not, when reading the Bible story? That way, we make it clear that we want to explore the exhibition with our visitors and enjoy a shared experience. → continue reading