During a major life crisis the 23-year-old Charlotte Salomon paints the story of her life: Born in Berlin in 1917, she emigrated to her grandparents in the South of France in 1939. When her grandmother committed suicide, Charlotte Salomon learned that her mother had killed herself as well. To avert a nervous breakdown, she confronted her own story through painting. Within a few months she had created over 1,300 gouaches, using elements from films and comics, and adding pieces of music as accompaniment. Charlotte Salomon was arrested in 1943, deported via Drancy to Auschwitz, where she was murdered.
The touring exhibition shows 277 sheets from the series of pictures. In Berlin, the setting of "Life? or Theatre?", the series is complemented by photographs and original documents from archives and private collections in Berlin and from Joods Historisch Museum (Amsterdam).
"Life? or Theatre?" is supplemented by a contemporary work of art. The Belgian artist Chantal Akerman places the diary of her teenage grandmother, who was murdered in Auschwitz, at the center of her installation, "Walking Next to One's Shoelaces Inside an Empty Fridge" (2004).
For further information about the exhibition, please read Charlotte Salomon "Leben? oder Theater?" (PDF download, 95 KB) by Margret Kampmeyer, Museums-Journal, July 2007. We thank the Museums-Journal for granting permission to use this text.
When: 16 August 2007 at 7 pm. Please plan sufficient time for security checks at the entrance to the Jewish Museum Berlin.
Where: Jewish Museum Berlin, Concert Hall, Old Building, top floor, Lindenstr. 9-14, 10969 Berlin
When: 17 August to 25 November 2007,
daily from 10 to 8, Mondays to 10 (closed: 9/13+14, 9/22, 9/25, 11/17/2007)
Where: Jewish Museum Berlin, Lindenstr. 9-14, 10969 Berlin
An exhibition of the Jewish Museum Berlin in collaboration with Joods Historisch Museum Amsterdam.