An exhibition by the Jewish Museum Munich
in cooperation with the Jewish Museum Berlin
The exhibition focuses on strategies against forgetting from a Jewish perspective, on Jewish rituals of transition and remembrance. It shows the origin of these rituals, how they are practiced, and what they mean. In addition to the cyclical religious rituals of remembrance, strategies against historical forgetting are shown.
Birth, childhood, school, maturity, independence, marriage, old age, and death mark painful or joyful phases in each of our lives. Like other cultures, Judaism has also developed strategies of helping us through these transitions. In the exhibition, some sixty objects from public and private collections stand for the universal nature of these rites of passage that at the same time are of unique importance to each individual. They encompass, among others, three slate tablets from the Middle Ages, which were recently excavated in the Archaeological Zone (the site of the planned Jewish Museum Cologne), and are on public display for the first time.
Michael Wiehen (local excavation director, Archaeological Zone, Cologne) on three exhibits from the Middle Ages
The community also conducts rituals recalling events that shaped history. These include annual holidays and several-day festivals such as Pesah that commemorates the exodus of the Israelites from Egypt, Hanukkah, the Festival of Lights (remembering the victory), and Sukkot, the Feast of Booths (commemorating the pilgrimage). All three last several days and remember important passages in Jewish history or the year cycle.
Collective secular rituals include those that strengthen national identity and the loyal bond to the "fatherland." Contemporary remembrance rituals also reflect the Nazi era and the Shoah. The American artist Quintan Ana Wikswo based an artistic project on the remains of the so-called 'Sonderbau' (special block) in Dachau the concentration camp brothel and created literary and photographic commemorative works of art. Even today, this group of victims sexually exploited women in concentration camps is still omitted from public commemorative rituals.
Wikswo's pictures focus on those Jewish stories of suffering that have been neither told nor documented. A selection of these haunting, large-format photographs presents a challenging contrast to the 'innocent' objects and rituals against forgetting.
"A Time for Everything. Rituals Against Forgetting" was curated by Felicitas Heimann-Jelinek and designed by exhibition architect Martin Kohlbauer. The exhibition was first created and shown in the Jewish Museum Munich, from 27 February to 1 September 2013.
Cilly Kugelmann, program director of the Jewish Museum Berlin
about the question: "What is special about this exhibition?"
Accompanying the exhibition there is an audio guide in German and English, with contributions by
Inka Bertz (Head of collections/Curator of art, Jewish Museum Berlin),
Bill Gross (Lender),
Felicitas Heimann-Jelinek (Exhibition curator),
Cilly Kugelmann (Program director, Jewish Museum Berlin),
Bernhard Purin (Director, Jewish Museum Munich),
Michael Wiehen (Local excavation director, Archaeological Zone, Cologne),
Quintan Ana Wikswo (Artist)
The audio guide to the exhibition is available free of charge.
Jewish Museum Berlin
Lindenstr. 9-14, 10969 Berlin Old Building, first level
Monday from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Tuesday-Sunday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m
8 euros, reduced charge 3 euros Children up to the age of 6 years free Family ticket (2 adults, up to 4 children): 14 euros
A museum ticket is valid for both the permanent exhibition and the special exhibition.
"To every thing
there is a season,
and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
A time to be born,
and a time to die;
a time to plant,
and a time to pluck up
that which is planted;
A time to kill,
and a time to heal;
a time to break down,
and a time to build up;
A time to weep,
and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn,
and a time to dance;
A time to get,
and a time to lose;
A time to keep,
and a time to cast away;
A time to rend,
and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence,
and a time to speak;
A time to love,
and a time to hate;
a time of war,
and a time of peace."
Blog Entries on the Exhibition
The blog of the Jewish Museum Berlin regularly adds posts that are related to the exhibition theme before and during the exhibition: