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Exhibition Opening of Inside Out – Etgar Keret

Press Release, Wed 19 Oct 2022

Taking memories of his mother as his point of departure, the Israeli author Etgar Keret has written nine new short stories specifically for this exhibition, which will serve as their world premiere. With these short stories, Keret draws an explicit connection to the Jewish tradition of passing down memories from gene­ration to gene­ration. He recalls expe­riences he had with his mother, who was born in Poland in 1934, and recounts stories she told him as a child, inclu­ding ordinary anecdotes but also traumatic war­time expe­riences and encounters with violence. The narrative voice alter­nates between the perspective of an adult and that of a child. Keret makes no claim that these literary writings depict reality or paint a complete picture of his mother. On the contrary, he empha­sizes that such an attempt would be doomed to failure, and also wants the exhi­bition to illustrate the uncertain and frag­mentary nature of his memory.


Margret Karsch
Press Officer
T +49 (0)30 259 93 419


Jewish Museum Berlin Foundation
Lindenstraße 9–14
10969 Berlin

The short stories will be presented along­side objects from the JMB collection selected by Etgar Keret as well as two installations, a piece of video art, and illus­trations created by contem­porary artists in colla­boration with the author. Etgar Keret aims to defy museum­goers’ expec­tations with this exhibition. He has no intention of imparting infor­mation or explaining anything to them, but instead hopes to share partial and un­verifiable memories of his late mother with them. Through the interplay of memories, objects, and art installations, the exhibition will forge evocative spaces that stir up feelings and asso­ciations.

“The Jewish Museum Berlin wants its exhi­bitions to tell stories about Jewish life,” says Hetty Berg, Director of the JMB, “and Etgar Keret is beyond doubt a master of story­telling. I am delighted that he has written short stories about his family speci­fically for the JMB, and has situated them in regard to objects from the collection. This encounter in the exhi­bition has been a very stimu­lating and inspiring expe­rience for me perso­nally, and I hope that visitors feel similarly and that they will all find their own very unique points of entry.”

Etgar Keret himself says that he wants the visitors to get a sense of his mother, but without them having any objective details about her. This way, he says, they will learn about her just as he did: “Instead of sharing her parents’ names or her date of birth in the exhi­bition, I want the visitors to know which part of her hand she would touch my face with, and what bed­time stories she would tell me each night. It should feel like kissing someone with your eyes closed: the sensa­tion is clear, but cannot really be shared or completely arti­culated.”

All the stories will be available in the exhi­bition itself – and, after it opens, on the JMB website – in three languages, in both print and audio versions. Etgar Keret has recorded himself reading his pieces in Hebrew and English, and the award-­winning writer Daniel Kehlmann has narrated the German trans­lation. Kehlmann, a friend of Keret’s, will also participate in the exhi­bition’s accompanying event programming. The JMB will be hosting a dis­cussion with them both, including a reading, on November 29, 2022. Two days prior, on 27 November 2022, Etgar Keret and his wife Shira Geffen will be present at the screening of the miniseries The Middleman (2019), which they co-wrote and co-directed. Two writing workshops incorporating an exhi­bition tour and lunch, on 20 November and 12 December, round out the accompa­nying program.

Exhibition dates: 21 October 2022 to 5 February 2023
Location: Jewish Museum Berlin, ground floor of Libeskind Building, Eric F. Ross Gallery
Admission: free, time ticket will be recommended
Opening hours: daily, 10 am to 7 pm

Exhibition Inside Out – Etgar Keret: Features & Programs

Exhibition Webpage
Inside Out – Etgar Keret – 21 Oct 2022 to 19 Mar 2023
Digital Content
A Peculiar Kinship – Etgar Keret and Daniel Kehlmann in conversation, video recording of the event on 29 Nov 2022
Accompanying Events
Exhibition Opening – with Etgar Keret and JMB director Hetty Berg, 20 Oct 2022, in German and English
Writing workshop On Mothers – with fixed dates, in German
Writing workshop On Mothers – by appointment, in German
Writing workshop On Mothers – for classes from grades 7 to 13, by appointment, in German
Screening of The Middleman – Miniseries by Etgar Keret and Shira Geffen, 27 Nov 2022, in German
See also
Etgar Keret, author and screenwriter

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