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Title:Between memory and history: Shimon Attie's art of remembrance
Author(s):Bushnick, Melissa J.
Advisor(s):Weissman, Terri
Department / Program:Art & Design
Discipline:Art History
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Attie, Shimon
Holocaust, Jewish (1939-1945), and art
Arts, Modern --20th century
Photography, artistic
Photography, philosophy
History and memory
Abstract:Following the fall of the Berlin Wall, American-Jewish artist Shimon Attie traveled to the former Jewish quarter of Berlin and wondered “Where are all the missing people?” With this question in mind, Attie embarked on a two year project that involved converting black and white archival photographs of pre-war Jewish life in Berlin into slides and projecting them onto the sites they were originally taken. During the course of the one or two day installation, Attie would photograph the projection. These photographs would become The Writing on the Wall series, in which Attie sought to reveal not what was but instead what was lost, using photography to evoke both absence and memory. As a work enacted in public space, Attie sought to reinhabit both the neighborhood and the minds of those who see his work with the memory of Berlin’s forgotten Jewish community, creating an active, experiential form of memory work. Through using the medium of photography in different ways, Attie thus creates a space in which history and memory converge: in their phantasmal form, the documentary historical photographs become transformed into a visual manifestation of memory.
Issue Date:2010-05-19
Rights Information:Copyright 2010 Melissa J. Bushnick
Date Available in IDEALS:2010-05-19
Date Deposited:May 2010

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