Flight and Metamorphosis
Nelly Sachs, Writer, Berlin/Stockholm
Flight and Metamorphosis: Nelly Sachs, Writer, Berlin/Stockholm
For the fortieth anniversary of Nelly Sachs's death, the Jewish Museum Berlin presented an exhibition on the native Berliner's work in 2010.
Nelly Sachs and her mother managed to escape from Berlin to Stockholm in 1940 on one of the last passenger planes; the decree for their deportation to a concentration camp had already been issued. Nelly Sachs went on to become one of the most celebrated poets in German and received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1966. At the time, she was seventy-five years old and had spent nearly thirty years in exile.
For the first time, Nelly Sachs’s poetic oeuvre was honored in a large traveling exhibition. The rich selection of unpublished material shown in the exhibition paid tribute to the radical nature of her writing and illustrated the cultural-historical context in which it emerged. Previously unpublished photos and manuscripts from Sachs's estate as well as unearthed audio and video recordings documented her friendships with authors such as Paul Celan, Gunnar Ekelöf, Hans Magnus Enzensberger, and Selma Lagerlöf. Furniture and personal belongings from the poet’s famous one-room apartment in the south of Stockholm, nicknamed the Kajüte or cabin, offered a rare insight into her daily life.
The exhibition was initiated, curated, and designed by Aris Fioretos and gewerk design in collaboration with the Jewish Museum Berlin, the Jewish Theater of Stockholm, the Royal Library of Sweden, the Swedish Embassy, and the Suhrkamp publishing house. The exhibition made additional stops in Stockholm, Zurich, Frankfurt, and Dortmund.
The exhibition was funded by the Kulturstiftung des Bundes and the Stiftung Deutsche Klassenlotterie as well as the Deutsche Akademie für Sprache und Dichtung, the Bank of Sweden Tercentenary Foundation, and the Swedish Academy in Stockholm.