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Upcoming Exhibitions 2024

Press Release, Thu 16 Nov 2023

“My Verses Are Like Dynamite”. Curt Bloch’s Het Onderwater Cabaret

Press conversation: 8 February 2024

Under threat from Nazi antisemitism, the young lawyer Curt Bloch (1908–1975) fled Dortmund for the Netherlands in 1933. He went into hiding there in 1942 and emigrated to the United States after the war. In his hiding place, every week from August 1943 to April 1945 Bloch produced a booklet with the telling title Het Onderwater Cabaret – The Underwater Cabaret. He created ninety-five small-format booklets, with artfully collaged covers and containing a total of almost five hundred poems, in which he wrote about the crimes of the Nazis and their collaborators, the course of the war, his situation in hiding, the fate of his family, and the approaching defeat of the Axis powers. Bloch kept his unique work safe despite persecution and emigration. Through his daughter, Simone Bloch, Het Onderwater Cabaret came to the Jewish Museum Berlin, where it is now shown in public for the first time. The exhibition presents all the booklets in the original, reconstructs the process and context of their creation, and gives Bloch’s cabaret pieces a voice and presence on stage.

Dates: 9 February to 26 May 2024
Location: Jewish Museum Berlin, Libeskind Building, ground level, Eric F. Ross Gallery
Admission: free

Sex. Jewish Positions

Press conference: 16 May 2024

The exhibition explores the differing perceptions of sexuality in Judaism. In some strands of popular opinion, Jews are thought to have an affirmative attitude to sexuality, rejecting celibacy and celebrating marital sex. This simplification is based on the biblical instruction to “Be fruitful and multiply.” Yet the reverse simplification also seems to be widespread in the public mind: the idea that relations between the sexes in Orthodox and ultra-Orthodox settings are stringently regulated. Through modern and contemporary art, traditional artifacts, film, and social media, the exhibition reveals the breadth of such positions, which have been discussed for centuries in the canon of rabbinic literature.

Judaism rarely speaks with one voice on any issue, and sex is no exception. The exhibition gives a voice to the diversity of Jewish opinion on sexuality, embracing Talmudic scholars and contemporary artists, medieval philosophers and modern sex therapists, mystical thinkers and Instagram influencers alike. From the central importance of marriage and procreation, via desire, taboos, and the questioning of social norms, to the eroticism of spirituality, the exhibition presents the whole spectrum of Jewish attitudes and shows that traditional debates are highly relevant to present-day Jewish positions on sexuality.

The exhibition is presented in cooperation with the Jewish Museum Amsterdam. A catalog in German and English is published by Hirmer Verlag.

Dates: 17 May to 6 October 2024
Location: Jewish Museum Berlin, Old Building, level 1
Admission: 10 € / reduced 4 €

Access Kafka

Press conference: 12 December 2024

One hundred years after the death of Franz Kafka, the exhibition Access Kafka puts key aspects of his cultural legacy into dialogue with contemporary art. The concept of access serves as a guiding principle for the exhibition. Questions of access play a central role in Kafka’s writing, his preoccupation with Judaism, his social positioning as an artist, and the dissemination and reception of his texts. The granting or denial of access is also a crucial issue in our society – whether in the private or the public sphere, in the physical or the digital realm.

The exhibition approaches the issue of access through five thematic chapters that are closely tied to Kafka’s texts and working methods. The first theme is the denial of access, something at the center of several of Kafka’s works, followed by the topics WORD, BODY, LAW, and SPACE. In addition to texts and original documents such as Kafka’s Hebrew vocabulary booklets, the exhibition presents works by international artists, including Guy Ben-Ner, Maria Eichhorn, Maria Lassnig, and Trevor Paglen, to bring the question of access and modes of access into the present day.

The exhibition is accompanied by a catalog in German and English.

Dates: 13 December 2024 to 27 April 2025
Location: Jewish Museum Berlin, Old Building, level 1
Admission: 10 € / reduced 4 €
Contact

Margret Karsch
Press Officer
T +49 (0)30 259 93 419
presse@jmberlin.de

Address

Jewish Museum Berlin Foundation
Lindenstraße 9–14
10969 Berlin

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