A wall reading »I am Isaak/Ismail« in several languages to the right and projected images of young peoples' faces to the lefte left


An Installation in 15 Rooms by Saskia Boddeke & Peter Greenaway

The story of the patriarch Abraham, who is prepared to obey God’s command to sacrifice his son, is one of the most puzzling episodes of the Bible. That is ample reason to dedicate an exhibition to the “Binding of Isaac,” as the passage is known in Jewish tradition. In Judaism, Islam, and Christianity, it is among the most significant and most popular stories and among the first that were ever depicted. And yet the three monotheistic religions offer very different answers to the questions that the passage raises to this day.

Past exhibition

Map with all buildings that belong to the Jewish Museum Berlin. The Old Building is marked in green


Old Building, level 1
Lindenstraße 9–14, 10969 Berlin

Trailer for the exhibition

The Curators’ Interpretation

In the exhibition, British film director Peter Greenaway and multimedia artist Saskia Boddeke portray the sacrifice of Isaac as a human drama. Which is stronger, God’s command or fatherly love? And where is the modern subject situated between the conflicting priorities of obedience and trust?

Taking these questions as their starting point, Boddeke and Greenaway developed a coherent artistic scenario that approached the biblical narrative subjectively, deconstructed it, and refocused the constituent parts to create an emotionally tangible scenario.

Using film projections, installations, precious objects, and a custom-made own soundtrack, the biblical narrative was staged as a sensory and emotional showpiece in fifteen parts. Its dramatic arc was inspired by the legends of the Jewish, Christian, and Islamic traditions and linked with the experiences and issues of our time.

Peter Greenaway

The filmmaker Peter Greenaway was born in Newport, Wales, in 1942. He is married to Saskia Boddeke and lives in Amsterdam and London. 
More on Wikipedia

Credits & Partners

Team Amsterdam

Directors Saskia Boddeke & Peter Greenaway
Producer Annette Mosk
Editor Elmer Leupen
Jacobine van der Kamp
Composer Luca D'Alberto
Choreographers Roni Haver
Guy Weizman
Director of Photography Ruzbeh Babol
Calligrapher Brody Neuenschwander
Second Life Artists Brynley Longman
Jo Esmell
Bernard Capitaine aka Iono Allen
Video Designer Peter Wilms
Sound Designer Danny Weijermans
Light Designer Floriaan Ganzevoort
Maarten Warmerdam
3D Modeller Chok Wah Man
Picture Researcher Willemien Ruys
Set Photographer Daan van Eijndhoven
Installation Photographer Igor Mandic
Production support Lys Bouma
Costume Designer Willemien Ruys
Make-up Designer Leonie Schuurman
Prop master Jeroen Echter
Special Effects Marten Hoekstra
Food Design Sabrina Hessels
Actors/Dancers Hendrik Aerts
Roni Haver
Zoe Greenaway
Stella van Leeuwen
Sofiko Nachkebiya
Adam Peterson
Igor Podsiadly
Skip Rijsdijk
Yoav Weizman


Team Berlin

Project Management Margret Kampmeyer-Käding (Curator and Project Manager)
Helmuth F. Braun (Director of special exhibitions)
Saro Gorgis, Klaus H. Teuschler (Assistance)
Anina Falasca, Samuel Zettinig (Research)
Production Planning KatzKaiser Architekten, Köln/Darmstadt: Marcus Kaiser, Tobias Katz
Production Management Tobias Katz
Matthias Förster
Graphics Studio Carmen Strzelecki, Köln
Media Engineering Eidotech, Berlin
Video booth Realisierung, Softwareentwicklung und Screendesign: DREINULLmotion, Berlin
Außengestaltung: buerominimal
Projektmanagement: Jihan Radjai, Mirjam Wenzel
Trailer for the exhibition Compositing & Sound: Sebastian Purfürst, LEM-STUDIOS
Exhibition Construction D4 Project, Berlin
Wolfgang Matzat, Berlin
Weisse GmbH Eberswalde
Dietz Bauservice GmbH, Berlin
Collection Management Anna Golus
Petra Hertwig
Gisela Märtz
Katrin Strube
Conservators Barbara Decker
Stephan Lohrengel
Adroniki Paliompei
Alicija Steczek
Set Up Fißler und Kollegen GmbH, Halsbrücke
Painting Marotzke, Berlin
Artistic Surface Design Mario Kwast
Patrick Gutschmidt
Liquid Paint
Electrical and Light Installation Viktor Kégli, 50Lux, Berlin
Décor Manuel Schubbe, Berlin
Bärbel Schütz Plastik Berlin
Photo Production das foto image factory
Graphic Production Bartneck Print Artists, Berlin
repro ringel, Berlin
Exhibition Organization Peter Dallmann
Gunther Giese (Spie GmbH)
Transport Crown Fine Art GmbH Frankfurt
Design of Advertising Campaign e o t . essays on typography
Lilla Hinrichs + Anna Sartorius
Marketing Katrin Möller
Sascha Perkins
Gesine Tyradellis
Press Jennifer Berndt
Katharina Schmidt-Narischkin
Sylvia Winkler
Online Editors Mariette Franz
Alice Lanzke
Mirjam Wenzel
Editorial Staff Publications of the Museum Christine Marth
Marie Naumann
Construction Team Anna Augustin
Detlef Barrach
Mike Bindschädel
Michalina Cieslicki
Milena Fernando
Mariette Franz
Miriam Goldmann
Lea Heckel
Liron Herlinger
Julia Jokel
André Küter
Alexa Stahr
Jacob Lippold
Peter Litzroth
Karla Marsiske
Vivienne Noda-Bautista
Berrit Pöppelmeier
Mareike Poppinga
Paul Rehfeldt
Glafira Silvestrova
Ulrike Sonnemann
Oliver Stratz
Ann-Christin Wachtel


Exhibition Information at a Glance

  • When 22 May to 15 Nov 2015
  • Where Old Building, level 1
    Lindenstraße 9-14, 10969 Berlin 
    See Location on Map

With the support of the Friends of the Jewish Museum Berlin

With support from

Logo: Botschaft des Königreichs der Niederlande

We thank our partner

Logo: Wall AG

We thank our media partners

Logo: ZITTY Logo: Yorck Kinogruppe Logo: rbb Fernsehen Logo: monopol. Magazin für Kunst und Leben

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