In artistic counterpoint to "Life? or Theatre?", the installation "Walking Next to One's Shoelaces into an Empty Fridge" by Chantal Akerman is on display. The Belgian artist, born in Brussels in 1950, is the daughter of Polish Holocaust survivors. Like Charlotte Salomon, she, too, takes the confrontation with the past as the point of departure for her work. Chantal Akerman maps out the search for traces of her own family history in an installation extending across several rooms. The center of the three-part work is the diary of Chantal Akerman's teenage grandmother, which was not found until after she had been murdered at Auschwitz. Projected on diaphanous tulle, it constitutes the focal point of the work. Visible through the fine fabric is the filmed conversation conducted by the author's daughter and granddaughter about this recovered family treasure. Through reading the diary, they gingerly approach the world of emotions and thoughts in which the grandmother lived as a young woman. Her daughter, Chantal Akerman's mother, is the mediator between the generations, but also a translator in the literal sense, who grew up with another language in exile. Reading and interpreting, both women are engrossed in the text, channeling from here their reflections on a family history that left almost no material traces, but is composed instead of memories, of ephemeral and emotional images.
A publication on the installation will be published.
When: 17 August to 25 November 2007,
daily from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Mondays to 10 p.m. (closed: 9/13+14, 9/22, 9/25, 11/17/2007)
Where: Jewish Museum Berlin, Lindenstrasse 9-14, 10969 Berlin