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French Painting And The Nineteenth Century with a Postscript by Alfred Flechtheim

burcu dogramaci

James Laver, French Painting And The Nineteenth Century. B.T. Batsford Ltd., 1937, with Alfred Flechtheim’s 'Postscript', pp. 101–114.

  I acquired the book French Painting And The Nineteenth Century, published in London in September 1937, from an online antiquarian bookshop a few months ago. The background to this is an ongoing inquiry into artistic exile in London after 1933 conducted in the course of a research project I have been leading since 2017.[1] I was interested in the volume because it contained the last text by the gallery owner Alfred Flechtheim, who, as a German Jew facing persecution at home, sought refuge in London. This text has received little attention, yet it relates how intensively Flechtheim tried to re-establish his livelihood in the British capital. Perhaps even more striking is how it documents his momentous work for the recognition of nineteenth-century French art. French Painting And The Nineteenth Century is also a dis:connective object: it is connected with and results from Flechtheim's life in exile, but it also points to the fissures of exile and thus to an existence marked by voids and upheavals. At the same time, the book recalls an incomplete memory, one that is also related to exile. For Flechtheim’s disenfranchisement and persecution, the financial decline and destruction of his successful galleries, as well as his emigration, banished his work to oblivion decades. Only with the major exhibition and publication Alfred Flechtheim. Sammler. Kunsthändler in the Kunstmuseum Düsseldorf in 1987 did Flechtheim return to art history. A major provenance research project in 2014, which involved 15 museums, followed the links between items in the collection and the gallerist Alfred Flechtheim.[2] Flechtheim was a successful gallerist, with art spaces in Berlin and Düsseldorf, as well as the publisher of Der Querschnitt magazine. Flechtheim exhibited the most important modern artists of his time, including Rudolf Belling, George Grosz, Oskar Kokoschka, Georg Kolbe, Pablo Picasso, Renée Sintenis and many more. When the National Socialists seized power, Alfred Flechtheim and his company, which was already struggling in the Great Depression, became the target of racist attacks in which he was targeted as a Jew, a cultural Bolshevist and an outstanding patron of the artistic avant-garde.[3] In 1937, the Entartete Kunst (Degenerate Art) exhibition in Munich not only defamed many of the artists whom Flechtheim represented but also attacked the gallery owner himself in texts displayed throughout the exhibition.[4] Flechtheim had been living abroad since 1933 and worked for the Mayor Gallery at 18 Cork Street in London. Later, he was also the official representative of Daniel-Henry Kahnweiler’s Paris gallery. Flechtheim’s aim was to introduce French and German modernism to the London art market and to raise its profile. Paintings by Paul Klee opened in January 1934, and an exhibition on George Grosz followed in June the same year.[5] Although Flechtheim greatly influenced these and other exhibitions at the Mayor Gallery and provided loans, his name remained largely unmentioned.[6] Flechtheim also worked with the Agnew Gallery and was responsible for its new focus on French Impressionism.[7] Other collaborations included the Alex Reid & Lefevre Gallery and The Leicester Galleries. However, his contribution to the acceptance of continental modernism barely registered with the public. In London, Flechtheim − unlike in Düsseldorf and Berlin − could not conduct his business under his gallery name.  

First page of Alfred Flechtheim’s “Postscript” (p. 101) in James Laver’s French Painting And The Nineteenth Century. B.T. Batsford Ltd., 1937.

  In October 1936, Flechtheim organised the Exhibition of Nineteenth Century French Painting at the New Burlington Galleries, which brought together work by Manet, van Gogh and Cézanne. Alfred Flechtheim died in 1937. His body was cremated at Golders Green Crematory in London. Posthumously, the final text he authored appeared in James Laver’s French Painting and The Nineteenth Century.[8] The book is dedicated to Flechtheim: ‘In Memory of ALFRED FLECHTHEIM who died 9th March 1937 “Marchand de Tableaux Créateur”.’ The book brings together many of the paintings shown at the Exhibition of Nineteenth Century French Painting. Flechtheim himself selected many of the images and edited the texts. In his postscript, he describes how he organised the exhibition at the New Burlington Galleries and why he always championed French art. His text formulates a credo that can be read as a reflection of his situation as an exiled art dealer and as a pacifist statement on the political situation:
Art need be none the worse for being national or provincial, but really great art soars above racial frontiers and belongs to the world. [...] Such an art, to borrow J.B. Manson's words, ‘can be understood with few exceptions by the whole world. It affords a common meeting ground, and transcends all those considerations of imperialism and politics which are the cause of international strife and ill will.’[9]

Gerty Simon, Portrait of Alfred Flechtheim, London, c. 1935 (The Bernard Simon Estate, Wiener Holocaust Library Collections).

  From the book French Painting And The Nineteenth Century, further connections lead, for example, to the exhibition 20th Century German Art, which also took place in 1938 at the New Burlington Galleries in London and was organised in reaction to the National Socialist Entartete Kunst exhibition. Another connection points to the photographer Gerty Simon, for whom Flechtheim curated a solo exhibition at the Camera Club. This exhibition Camera Portraits featured 58 portraits. The exhibition also included a portrait of Flechtheim. Simon photographed Flechtheim around 1935, during the period of his professional re-emergence in London, which brought him into contact with leading galleries in the city. The portrait continues a traditional convention. As early as the 1920s, Flechtheim was portrayed in severe profile by Hugo Erfurth and Frieda Riess. Flechtheim’s striking features, with his distinctive nose and hair combed back severely from his face, were similarly emphasised in Rudolf Belling’s Portrait Alfred Flechtheim (1927). Gerty Simon’s photograph shows the art dealer in the approved side view. The face is brightly lit and stands out against the dark background. The picture is tightly cropped and focused entirely on the head. The dark circles around the eyes and the clouded eyelids give the subject a melancholy expression. Simon's photograph of Flechtheim and the book French Painting And The Nineteenth Century are important sources for reconstructing the gallery owner’s activities and professional networks in London. French Painting And The Nineteenth Century provides insights into the artistic taste, aesthetic preferences and persuasions of the gallerist: ‘The final choice of the illustrations, and much of the editorial work on the book were undertaken by the late Alfred Flechtheim, whose enthusiasm was a stimulus to all concerned in its production’. Flechtheim selected what was available to him from English and other private collectors and museums; in this respect, one can speak of an immediate reaction to the available opportunities or of a canon in the sign of exile.   [1] Specifically, the ERC Consolidator Grant research project ‘Relocating Modernism: Global Metropolises, Modern Art and Exile (METROMOD)’. [2] Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen, ‘Alfred Flechtheim. Kunsthaendler der Avantgarde’, Alfred Flechtheim. Kunsthaendler der Avantgarde, 29 March 2022, http://alfredflechtheim.com. [3] Cordula Frowein, ‘Alfred Flechtheim im Exil in England’, in Alfred Flechtheim. Sammler. Kunsthändler. Verleger (Duesseldorf: Kunstmuseum Duesseldorf, 1987), 59. [4] Ottfried Dascher, “Es ist was Wahnsinniges mit der Kunst”. Alfred Flechtheim. Sammler, Kunsthändler, Verleger, Quellenstudie zur Kunst 6 (Waedenswil: Nimbus. Kunst und Buecher AG, 2011), 394. [5] Frowein, ‘Alfred Flechtheim im Exil in England’, 60. [6] Dascher, “Es ist was Wahnsinniges mit der Kunst”. Alfred Flechtheim. Sammler, Kunsthändler, Verleger, 331. [7] Frowein, ‘Alfred Flechtheim im Exil in England’, 61. [8] Alfred Flechtheim, ‘Postscript’, in French Painting And The Nineteenth Century, ed. James Laver (London: B.T. Batsford Ltd., 1937), 101–14. [9] Flechtheim, 114.

Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen. ‘Alfred Flechtheim. Kunsthaendler der Avantgarde’. Alfred Flechtheim. Kunsthaendler der Avantgarde, 29 March 2022. http://alfredflechtheim.com. Dascher, Ottfried. “Es ist was Wahnsinniges mit der Kunst”. Alfred Flechtheim. Sammler, Kunsthändler, Verleger. Quellenstudie zur Kunst 6. Waedenswil: Nimbus. Kunst und Buecher AG, 2011. Flechtheim, Alfred. ‘Postscript’. In French Painting And The Nineteenth Century, edited by James Laver, 101–14. London: B.T. Batsford Ltd., 1937. Frowein, Cordula. ‘Alfred Flechtheim im Exil in England’. In Alfred Flechtheim. Sammler. Kunsthändler. Verleger, 59–64. Duesseldorf: Kunstmuseum Duesseldorf, 1987.  
citation information:
Dogramaci, Burcu, 'French Painting And The Nineteenth Century with a Postscript by Alfred Flechtheim', Ben Kamis ed. global dis:connect blog. global dis:connect, 11 June 2024, https://www.globaldisconnect.org/08/02/french-painting-and-the-nineteenth-century-with-a-postscript-by-alfred-flechtheim/.
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Tears through the Red Sea

andrea frohne

Elsa Gebreyesus (Eritrean, born in Ethiopia, lives in Fairfax, Virginia, USA), Silenced V, 2010, mixed media on paper, 30” x 37”, photograph by Andrea Frohne.

Silenced V contains the front page of the newspaper Red Sea (ቀይሕ ባሕሪ), published between 1997 and 2001 in the Tigrinya language. The blue and green colours across the artwork represent the Red Sea along the coast of Eritrea and the Horn of Africa. Elsa Gebreyesus tore the newspaper’s masthead in half and pasted it onto the canvas.[1] Underneath, she inscribed the word ‘Silenced’. The artwork depicts a rift and disconnection from globalised processes in the country’s political and social fabric resulting from the suppression of free speech and access to information. In addition, the torn newspaper evokes the torn relationships among Red Sea maritime nations in the Horn of Africa. It connected countries through trade and cultural exchange for centuries. Yet the sea has also existed as a site of disconnection and regional conflict. Born in Ethiopia to an Eritrean family, Elsa Gebreyesus moved at age seven with her family to Kenya during the Ethiopian Revolution. After spending her youth in Kenya, she moved with her parents and siblings to the USA and then to Canada. Elsa Gebreyesus has dislocated or emigrated from homes and then reconnected to new countries five times. The first two departures, out of Ethiopia and Kenya, were from countries that were not native to her. The artist lived in Eritrea following a 30-year war for independence. She worked for five years in the 1990s with a women’s nonprofit organisation in Eritrea and fled prior to a governmental crackdown. Like many of her generation, Elsa Gebreyesus was caught up in the celebration of Eritrea’s independence from Ethiopia in 1991 after the Eritrean War of Independence, and she decided to move to Eritrea in February 1992, setting foot in the country of her heritage for the first time in her early twenties. Putting her management skills to work, she promoted gender equity for five years at a women’s nonprofit called the National Union of Eritrean Women.[2] Toward the end of her stay, Elsa Gebreyusus witnessed a vibrant free press for a brief time in Eritrea from 1996 until 2001. By 1997, several privately run newspapers would sell out every morning.[3] The atmosphere of freedom and optimism about Eritrea’s future impressed her and informed a series of artworks she developed 15 years later. By 1997, the government began implementing increasingly repressive measures. Even though in that year, a carefully written and debated new constitution that grew out of the fight for liberation was passed, it remains unimplemented to this day. The exhilaration and possibility of the newly independent Eritrean nation in 1991 had dissipated as another dictator had risen to power: Isaias Afewerki became president in 1993 and remains in power. Since the 1998 Ethiopia-Eritrea border war, the borders of Eritrea have been controlled or closed, with its inhabitants largely prohibited from crossing them. The nation-state’s disconnection from globalised processes is repressive. Elsa Gebreyesus eventually found it necessary to leave Eritrea in 1997, and she witnessed the continuation of the dictator’s takeover from her new diasporic home in the United States. Inspired by her observation of Eritrea’s free press from 1996 to 2001, she used her art to help her process Eritrea’s change of trajectory toward repression and global disconnection. The path to dictatorship in Eritrea occurred in a series of stages, reaching a culmination in 2001. The September 2001 state crackdown effectively distanced Eritrea from transnational processes, and it continues to this day. From the United States, Elsa Gebreyesus watched closely and anxiously as all independent newspapers in Eritrea were abolished, and all captured journalists were imprisoned in one fell swoop.[4] To this day, no one knows where they are imprisoned or whether they are alive or dead. The Guardian profiled each journalist in 2015 in a world-news article.[5] In contrast to the state newspaper, Elsa Gebreyesus’s collaged newspaper fragments for the Silenced series are from the independent, privately owned papers that existed in newly independent Eritrea during the few years of press freedom. The artist selected sections of newspapers with dates in order to mark the national liberatory moment, and she also chose articles related to mundane aspects of life.[6] The latter includes, for example, a bicycle race in Silenced V. Yet even such innocuous words have in effect been censored since these newspapers are not housed in libraries and institutional archives. The copies the artist used were smuggled out of Eritrea and given to her in the diaspora. Elsa Gebreyesus’s artworks reconnect the memory of these newspapers to her new African diaspora. It is only from her position in a diaspora that she possesses the ability to narrate this history. The disconnection or tear through the Red Sea produces tears of sorrow for many reasons. Yet within the artwork, the small pieces of newspaper remind us of the freedom to write.   [1] The naming tradition in Eritrea is to refer to a person by their first name. The surname is simply the first name of the person’s father. Because it would be awkward to refer to my artist as Elsa only, I take the naming convention that scholars follow, which is to always write the first and last name of the artist. So in my text, you will see ‘Elsa Gebreyesus’ throughout. [2] Elsa Gebreyesus, Telephone Interview with Andrea Frohne, 2 December 2015. [3] Gebreyesus. [4] European Asylum Support Office, EASO Country of Origin Information Report: Eritrea : Country Focus (Luxembourg: Publications Office, 2015), 22, https://www.easo.europa.eu/news-events/easo-issues-country-origin-information-report-eritrea-country-focus. Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights in Eritrea; Report of the detailed findings of the Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights in Eritrea. United Nations Human Rights Council (Geneva: 5 June 2015). https://www.ohchr.org/en/hr-bodies/hrc/co-i-eritrea/report-co-i-eritrea-0. A principal finding of the United Nations commission is that, ‘[F]ollowing the 2001 crackdown, there has not been any press freedom in Eritrea. At that moment, the Eritrean Government suppressed the emerging free press by closing down independent newspapers and silenced journalists by arresting, detaining, torturing and having them disappeared’ (148). [5] Abraham T. Zere, ‘“If We Don’t Give Them a Voice, No One Will”: Eritrea’s Forgotten Journalists, Still Jailed after 14 Years’, The Guardian, 19 August 2015, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/aug/19/eritrea-forgotten-journalists-jailed-pen-international-press-freedom. Abraham Zere is a journalist who publishes articles about Eritrea from beyond its borders. [6] Gebreyesus, Telephone interview with Andrea Frohne.
European Asylum Support Office. EASO Country of Origin Information Report: Eritrea : Country Focus. Luxembourg: Publications Office, 2015. https://www.easo.europa.eu/news-events/easo-issues-country-origin-information-report-eritrea-country-focus. Gebreyesus, Elsa. Telephone Interview with Andrea Frohne, 2 December 2015. European Asylum Support Office. EASO Country of Origin Information Report: Eritrea : Country Focus. Luxembourg: Publications Office, 2015. https://www.easo.europa.eu/news-events/easo-issues-country-origin-information-report-eritrea-country-focus. Gebreyesus, Elsa. Telephone Interview with Andrea Frohne, 2 December 2015. Report of the detailed findings of the Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights in Eritrea. United Nations Human Rights Council (Geneva: 5 June 2015). https://www.ohchr.org/en/hr-bodies/hrc/co-i-eritrea/report-co-i-eritrea-0 Zere, Abraham T. ‘“If We Don’t Give Them a Voice, No One Will”: Eritrea’s Forgotten Journalists, Still Jailed after 14 Years’. The Guardian, 19 August 2015. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/aug/19/eritrea-forgotten-journalists-jailed-pen-international-press-freedom.
citation information
Frohne, Andrea, 'Tears through the Red Sea', Ben Kamis ed. global dis:connect blog. Käte Hamburger Research Centre global dis:connect, 23 January 2024, https://www.globaldisconnect.org/01/23/tears-through-the-red-sea/.
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Nomadic Camera: revisiting a workshop on photography and displacement at gd:c

sophie eisenried

Figure 1: Erich Stenger, Die Geschichte der Kleinbildkamera bis zur Leica, (Wetzlar: Umschau Verlag, 1949), 16.[1]

  From 13 June to 15 June 2023, a hybrid international workshop bearing the title Nomadic Camera. Photography, Displacement and Dis:connectivities took place at the Käte Hamburger Research Centre global dis:connect in cooperation with the Brandenburg Centre for Media Studies (ZeM) Potsdam. Nomadic Camera was dedicated to processes of migration, exile and flight and their visualisation, perception and dissemination through photography. The workshop explored the technical, medial and aesthetic relationship between photography and contemporary migration, historical exile and flight as a central discursive setting in which specific forms of mobility are negotiated from the mid-19th century to the present. The interdisciplinary workshop was organised by Burcu Dogramaci (Munich), Jens Jäger (Cologne), Winfried Gerling (Potsdam) and Birgit Mersmann (Bonn). The workshop kicked off with the gd:c annual lecture given by T. J. Demos (Santa Cruz) on the topic of Weaponized Environments. From the Migrant Image to the Media of Causes.

Annual lecture, 13 June 2023

In his lecture, T. J. Demos talked about the dynamics and aesthetics of migratory images and probed the representational regimes of refugees. He described the mobility of images of migration and problematised the migrant as a representational subject. He noted that images of migration became mobile screens onto which all kinds of content can be projected by liberal and right-wing media alike. Demos concluded that such projection is driving the rise of epistemic inaccuracies in images and their lack of documentary potential, which themselves are due to visually simplifying image regimes and resulting political interests. He described this development as a photography of faces, whereby subjects are reduced to their physiognomy. As a result, migrants have been dramaturgically and racially limited to their stories (of flight), and no critical reporting takes place. Demos then proposed a shift from a photography of faces to a photography of causes, asking what aesthetics and image regimes were necessary to legitimise this shift. For him, the answer lies in linking the concept of figure with that of ground, not considering environments as neutral contexts but rather asking how images and subjects are connected. He proposed forensic research as well as politically comprehensive analyses to paint a clear picture of political and economic antagonisms and to show networks of power by challenging racialised images in media.

Figure 2: Annette Vowinckel introducing Noemi Quagliati (photo by the author).

14 June 2023

Nomadic Camera began with processes of migration and flight after 2015 and their representation, perception and dissemination through photography. The participants examined the relationship between photography and contemporary migration in technology, media and aesthetics as well as historical exile and flight as central discursive settings. Reflections on creating places and belonging, ruptures between life and work in the past and present, experiences of loss and challenges of beginning were prominent topics. As a concept, nomadic camera focuses on:  
  • how dislocations relate to the technical development of photography as a mobile medium;
  • how camera technologies presuppose and influence the visual formulation of experiences of exile, migration and flight;
  • what changes in the aesthetics and style, methods and practices of photography imply for temporary mobility, geographical displacement and resettlement.
  The first panel was dedicated to the topic of techniques and technologies. Beyond discussing the camera as an artificial object, the participants also considered how perspectives of shooting and their results have changed concepts of photography. Svea Bräunert (Potsdam) connected techniques and technologies of nomadic cameras to the fact that the 21st century is hardly imaginable without accounting for the digital. For her, ‘the digital’ refers to migrants’ (as she referred to them) use of smartphones to plan their escape routes and stay in touch with their social networks as well as to the virtual fortification of borders through surveillance, biometrics and other technologies. She described migrant aesthetics as a ‘moving stream’, in which movement is central in determining the connection between the digital and migration. She concluded that films can no longer be clearly distinguished from photographs. While films have slowed, now containing abstract-looking still images, photography has become a stream always consisting of multiple images. As well as exemplifying what Nathan Jurgenson described as ‘social photos’,[2] the latter also defines smartphone photography, where one image is synthesised from many shots and motion is routinely added. Florian Krautkrämer (Lucerne) took a different tack, asking what dangers and responsibilities participatory techniques of filmmaking entail in the context of flight and migration. He pointed out that the participatory often makes use of the pain, fear and worries of others. The question of who films what for whom arose. Referring to, Wu Wenuang's China Village Self-Governance Film Project, which captures the public and political life of Chinese villages through the lens of their inhabitants, Krautkrämer emphasised that it is important to distinguish between the handed-over and the given camera. The handed-over camera reduces people with specific goals to human tripods. With the given camera, on the other hand, not everything is predetermined; the nature of the camera is important to the outcome. Although no political conflicts can be solved by the given camera, the filmed person can receive a hearing and attention. Thus, Florian Krautkrämer claims that the given camera is more politically open. The second panel was dedicated to bodies, agents and performativity. The discussion focused on the importance of the context of images/photographs and drew attention to the performative character of photography and a theorisation of the term agency. Burcu Dogramaci asked how the concept of the performative relates to migrant photography. Lara Bourdin (Montreal) addressed that question by talking about Notícias de América, a performance by Paulo Nazareth. The Afro-indigenous Brazilian artist pictured himself alone and together with anonymous people holding a cardboard sign. One of the signs, for example, bore the inscription: ‘I am not migrating to the USA’. The surrounding elements, however, suggested otherwise. With his simple clothes and dirty feet, Nazareth recalled the stereotypical figure of the *Latin American migrant* that circulates in Western documentary photography.[3] By developing an imaginary migration story, a re-enactment of real migration stories of people and bodies took place, whereby the performance is a direct, political intervention that exposes forms and racialising processes of photojournalism. Evelyn Runge (Cologne) took a step back from the performative and asked about agency. She examined the ethics and agency of digital images and photojournalistic experiences with the help of the actor-network-theory.[4] She found that ethics and agency are strongly intertwined and asked whether the nomadic digital represents the new ‘normal’. She attested to the participatory nature of the digital image through mechanisms such as reposting on social media and describes this process as nomadic. Afterwards, T. J. Demos asked whether the term nomadic is not inflationary and whether the nomadic is falsely equated with precarity and migration more generally.

Figure 3: The workshop participants enjoyed an evening viewing at the Arena Cinema in Munich (photo by the author)


15 June 2023

At the beginning of the third panel, devoted to media narrations and narratives, Birgit Mersmann pointed out that photo stories contribute to the narrative of migration and that, with the advent of new media and the resulting storytelling possibilities, narratives of migration have undergone a techno-social change. She probed the connections between media historiography, the nomadic camera and new narratives photography is producing. She noted that means of displacing and interrupting narratives can be analysed and distinguished in photographs. Anna Messner (Düsseldorf) added that there is a contradiction between what is seen/displayed and the actual event, referring to how objects can oscillate between visibility and invisibility — appearing, disappearing then reappearing — depending on the context in which media like photo albums are viewed. Subsequently, Ainslie Murray (Sydney) discussed narrative interruptions in her own art project called Registry of Itinerant Architectures — a dynamic online registry of wild, mobile, temporary and inventive forms of architecture associated with contemporary nomadic life. She talked about how her project began, about her walk through the wilderness in central Australia on the Larapinta trail from May to October 2022 during the Covid-19 pandemic. She referred to her preparations, initially hiking in a group and then deciding to continue her journey alone. The fears and worries that repeatedly interrupted her journey were captured through artistic/photographic methods in her art project. But besides creating images of interruptions, the images show improvised scenes of place-making and offer insights into the intense physical and psychological dimensions of mobility, characterised by risk, repetition, interruptions and failure where the landscape played an important role, as in the search for shade. The fourth panel dealt with circulation, archive and memory. Jens Jäger asked what and how we think about the term circulation and what forms of knowledge production play a role. He suggested the archive as a place where knowledge is stored and ascribes it to a tradition of reliving biography. Memory is the constant movement of experience. The archive also shapes ideas about and memories of migration and is therefore significant to nomadic cameras. Helene Roth (Munich) reflected on the archive by discussing her analyses in the ERC project Relocating Modernism: Global Metropolises, Modern Art and Exile (METROMOD). In recent years, the team has developed an interactive digital archive of emigrant artists in the six METROMOD cities of Bombay, Buenos Aires, Istanbul, London, New York and Shanghai. The archive not only contains archive entries, but also locates home and work addresses on city maps. The archive also provides important research-based insights. Roth investigated photographers who emigrated to New York in the 1930s and 40s, asking who inscribed themselves in the city's history and how. How are the emigrant photographers (in)visible on the city map? In what contact zones, networks and specific neighbourhoods did they work and live in New York? How were transcultural networks between the METROMOD cities created by migration movements? Roth described the challenges of handling of fragmentary information, which in turn is connected to media like photography. However, the digital archive lends itself to visualising fragmentary and nomadic knowledge through, for example, maps. Afterwards, Zeynep Gürsel (New Brunswick) mentioned that every archive contains certain temporalities. She looked at the effects of the ghostly presence of photographs in an archive of the Ottoman Empire, from which those photographed and captured had left the country without a chance to return. Zeynep Gürsel traces the circulation of 393 individuals and photographs to examine mobility, nationality, archives and the construction of individual and collective memories. She found that each image contains two temporalities: that of the Armenian past and the future of the homeland to-be. Elizabeth Edwards (Leicester) contextualised thoughts on memories with a historiographical intervention on the archive. She used Zygmunt Bauman’s term liquid times, which refers to the uncertainties in contemporary society, in which mass migration and the fluid definition of ‘home’ are essential features.[5] She asked how photographs produce strong histories, as she named them, and suggested that this is only possible because of their fluidity, in that their power structures and political and social agency change depending on what one inscribes on the image. However, images are used/understood as witnesses as well as legitimators of existences around which we, as humans, construct our realities, make new connections and thus create a tapestry of history and reality. The final discussion, beyond those sadly not mentioned here, was devoted to defining the term nomadic camera and, more broadly, what the nomadic might be. It quickly became clear that there is no one exclusive definition of nomadism, let alone the nomadic camera. It is much more important, as numerous discussions and lectures have confirmed, to refer to the political in the nomadic, recalling Demos’s lecture about the danger of romanticising the nomadic as boundless travel and thereby overlooking the fact that the less privileged are excluded from this freedom.[6] Hence, it is necessary to recognise and analyse technologies, agents, narratives and archives of nomadic cameras, without forgetting that nomadic does not inevitably mean freedom and that freedom remains a fantasy for many.   [1] Erich Stenger, Die Geschichte der Kleinbildkamera bis zur Leica (Frankfurt am Main: Wetzlar, Leitz, 1949). [2] Nathan Jurgenson, The Social Photo: On Photography and Social (London/New York: Verso, 2019). [3] I refrain from further explaining or exemplifying the stereotype of the *Latin American Migrant* in order to avoid reproducing racist representations. [4] Bruno Latour, Reassembling the Social: An Introduction to Actor-Network-Theory (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007). [5] Zygmunt Bauman, Liquid Modernity (Cambridge: Polity Press, 2000). [6] T.J. Demos, The Migrant Image The Art and Politics of Documentary during Global Crisis (Durham: Duke University Press, 2013).
Bauman, Zygmunt. Liquid Modernity. Cambridge: Polity Press, 2000. Demos, T.J. The Migrant Image The Art and Politics of Documentary during Global Crisis. Durham: Duke University Press, 2013. Jurgenson, Nathan. The Social Photo: On Photography and Social. London/ New York: Verso, 2019. Latour, Bruno. Reassembling the Social An Introduction to Actor-Network-Theory. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007. Stenger, Erich. Die Geschichte der Kleinbildkamera bis zur Leica. Frankfurt am Main: Wetzlar, Leitz, 1949.  
citation information:
Eisenried, Sophie, 'Nomadic Camera: revisiting a workshop on photography and displacement at gd:c', global dis:connect, 19 September 2023, 2023, https://www.globaldisconnect.org/09/19/nomadic-camera-revisiting-a-workshop-on-photography-and-displacement-at-gdc/.
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Field surveys, Western modernity and restituted global disconnections

andrea e. frohne

Fig. 01: The juxtaposition of the Kansas wheat field, the imported Afro-Italian cart and Dawit L. Petros’s hands suggests migration, mapping of territory and colonial settlement of the prairies.


Surveying a wheat field

The setting for figure 1 is a wheat field in Osborne, Kansas, which has a historic distinction that is central to its self-definition: it was designated by geographers as the geodetic centre of North America.[1] A national system based on coordinates came into use in the late-nineteenth century to survey the continent. A federal agency created what is called a triangulation station at Osborne, making it a fixed and central point. Networks of triangles are calculated eastward and westward from there to survey longitude, latitude, elevation and shoreline (fig. 2).[2] Osborne marks the point from which surveying and global positioning extend in all directions across North America.

Fig. 02: Triangulated mapping that emanates from Kansas as a means to survey the nation-state.

Dawit Petros’s work asks, ‘What is one’s relationship to place?’[3] He underlines through global conversation the complicated transnational, polycentric trajectories underlying a sense of place. One trajectory is a mapping system that contributed to modernisation in North America. As such, it is an end result of the colonisation process that claimed land from indigenous peoples across the North American continent. The artwork therefore engenders a disconnection regarding the stereotype that the Kansas prairie is occupied by European Americans, both historically and today. For instance, African American pioneers settled Kansas in the late-nineteenth century, and their descendants remain today. Another trajectory regarding the sense of place is Dawit Petros’s invocation of Clement Greenberg’s critical look at Western modernist painting, which dominates the methodological understanding of art in the field of art history. Figure 1 invokes a disconnection from this mainstream Western art history.

Surveying modern European art history

In a formative 1965 article titled Modernist Painting, Greenberg expostulated, ‘Flatness, two-dimensionality, was the only condition painting shared with no other art, and so Modernist painting oriented itself to flatness as it did to nothing else’.[4] The monochromatic square of colour in figure 1 is reminiscent of the history of modern Western art, including Abstract Expressionist American art from the 1940s through 1960s. The influential critic Clement Greenberg labelled the style of art ‘Color Field painting’. Artists such as Helen Frankenthaler, Sam Gilliam, Frank Bowling, Mark Rothko and Barnett Newman painted large fields of single colours. The flat, solid colours, understood as pure and monolithic, became the sole subject matter of the artwork. Greenberg contrasted the Color Field artists’ treatment of space in terms of flat planes with the earlier representation of three-dimensional space by ‘Old Masters’ through one-point perspective and the horizon line. Dawit Petros refers to Greenberg’s framing of Western art history. The artist manufactured a set of barellas, or handcarts, used among Habesha peoples in the Horn of Africa.[5] He travelled with a three-dimensional barella to Kansas, photographing it against land (fig. 1). The artist aligned the top white wooden handle of an olive-green square against the white horizon line that divides the field from the sky. The alignment can only be observed by a slight interruption in the horizontal green line that splits the top half of the entire photograph into a field of white colour and the bottom portion into a field of green. Dawit Petros identifies the horizon line but stops short of using the one-point perspective perfected by Renaissance artists. Instead, he references the Color Field style.

Fig. 03: A photographic archive by Dawit L. Petros of earth, sky and built form from Ethiopia.

The flat, olive-green square in the centre of the photograph was sourced from images of Ethiopian land using a process of enlarging digitalised photographic details.[6] The photographed colours are in fact digitalised details of the ground and the earth from Ethiopia (fig. 3).[7] Dawit Petros photographed various patches of ground in Ethiopia, and in each one a dominant colour was brought forward. Dawit Petros then abstracted the colours from the photographs using computer software to generate a square of colour. By using photographs sourced from his visit to Ethiopia, Dawit Petros draws Ethiopia and the Horn of Africa into ongoing dialogues about modernity. The artwork effectively invokes a restitutive global reconnection. In figure 1, the olive-green plane or field of colour is placed on top of what at first glance appears to be another flat plane of colour. But on closer inspection, the bright green, flat colour ‘field’ that forms the background of the bottom half of the artwork is a field, in the literal sense, of Kansas wheat. Therefore, a photographed slice of Ethiopian land is held against a photographed section of land in Kansas. Because of the use of modernism’s two-dimensional flat planes instead of the Renaissance’s illusion of three-dimensional space, it appears as if the geographic distance between the green Kansas field and the olive-green Ethiopian-sourced colour field has now been collapsed and eradicated. In effect, the artist has disconnected the physical separation between two continents.

Reconstituting global processes

The artist stands in the middle of the wheat field behind the green square, and only his two hands can be seen (fig. 1). The bodily presence of the brown hands and the Ethiopian-sourced olive-green square inscribes an African presence into the work’s polycentric modernities in a way that does not objectify the black or brown body. The artist explained in an interview that he decided not to place the body on display, but used the barella to stand in for the body, and that ‘within that refusal is agency’.[8] The African presence in the middle of Kansas iterates a narrative of postcolonial migration and new African diasporas. Dawit Petros lived in Kansas for the duration of an artist residency, and his encounter with Ethiopia for this series reminds us of his emigration. Dawit Petros relocated several times after his birth in Asmara, Eritrea. When he was very young, his family moved to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and had to leave again during the Ethiopian Red Terror in 1977. The family finally moved to Saskatoon, Canada, where the artist would live out the rest of his youth. The Osborne work alludes not only to new African diasporas but also, through the barella, to colonialism and hidden migrant labour. Dawit Petros encountered a version of the square with handles that serves as a handcart for construction workers when he was in Ethiopia. The handcart was brought to the Horn of Africa through Italian occupation and retained the Italian name in its new home (fig. 4).[9]

Fig. 04: Two women in Ethiopia demonstrating a barella handcart to carry materials.

While barellas signify the Horn of Africa’s colonial history, Dawit Petros exploited the fact that their appearance also evokes works of Western modernism, particularly Piet Mondrian’s squares of pure colour. Dawit Petros was inspired by another Dutch artist named Bas Jan Ader,[10] a contemporary, experimental artist who himself had investigated and interrogated Mondrian in 1960s performance art. Mondrian’s work, created during the first half of the twentieth century, served as a predecessor for the Color Field artists. Dawit Petros disrupts the trajectory of European modernism again by sourcing colour from the Ethiopian land and by referring to Mondrian by way of Ader, himself an immigrant to the United States, in his case from Holland in 1963. This depiction within the artwork of the act of looking from the perspective of someone with a brown body supplants the presumed white male gaze that dominated Western modernism. The primacy given to Western modernity in the history of art is cancelled by the African specificity Dawit Petros brings through the presence of his brown body and Ethiopian-sourced colour fields. The artwork disconnects the idea of a solely white population from the state of Kansas by reminding us of Native Americans, new African diasporas, migrant farm laborers, and antebellum and post-antebellum people of colour living in Kansas. As a result, Dawit Petros decentres modernity into polycentric arenas that coalesce and co-occur by restituting global disconnections in the field of art history and in a Kansas field of wheat (fig. 5).[11]   [1] Dawit L. Petros, Barella & Landscape #3, Osborne, Kansas, 2012, archival digital print, 30 x 40” (76.2 x 101.6 cm), photo courtesy of the artist. [2] ‘Horizontal survey control network in the United States’ (June 1931), Wikimedia (https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Horizontal_Control_Network_of_the_United_States_June_1931.jpg, 12.05.2023). [3] Olga Khvan, ‘“Sense of Place” Exhibit at the MFA Marks Homecoming for Dawit L. Petros’, Boston Magazine, 11 November 2013. [4]  Clement Greenberg, ‘Modernist Painting’, in Art and Literature 4 (Spring 1965): 193-201. Reprinted in Art in Theory 1900-1990, ed. Charles Harrison and Paul Wood (Hoboken: Wiley Blackwell, 1993), 756. [5] Dawit L. Petros, interview with Andrea Frohne: Brooklyn, NY, 2014. Habesha refers to people of Ethiopia and Eritrea without specifying the name of a country. Traditionally, it referred to those who live in the highlands, a terrain that straddles the border. [6] Dawit L. Petros. [7] Dawit L. Petros, Notations (A Catalogue of Addis Ababa), Artist’s Archive, 2010, courtesy of the artist. [8] Dawit L. Petros, interview with Andrea Frohne: Brooklyn, NY, 2014. [9] Dawit L. Petros, photograph taken on a research trip from personal archive, n.d. Courtesy of the artist. [10] Dawit L. Petros, interview with Andrea Frohne: Brooklyn, NY, 2014. [11] Dawit L. Petros, Sense of Place series, 2012-2013. Barellas #1-6 in foreground, 2012.  Archival digital prints; enamel on MDF, sapele, and pine. Installation view in Encounters Beyond Borders: Contemporary Artists from the Horn of Africa at the Kennedy Museum of Art, Ohio University, 2016, photo courtesy of Ben Siegel.
Greenberg, Clement. ‘Modernist Painting’. In Art and Literature 4 (Spring 1965): 193-201. Reprinted in Art in Theory 1900-1990, edited by Charles Harrison and Paul Wood. Hoboken: Wiley Blackwell, 1993. Khvan, Olga. ‘“Sense of Place” Exhibit at the MFA Marks Homecoming for Dawit L. Petros’. Boston Magazine, 11 November 2013. Petros, Dawit. Interview with Andrea Frohne: Brooklyn, NY, 2014.
citation information:
Frohne, Andrea. ‘Field Surveys, Western Modernity and Restituted Global Disconnections’. global dis:connect blog, 11 July 2023. https://www.globaldisconnect.org/07/11/field-surveys-western-modernity-and-restituted-global-disconnections/.
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Atis Rezistans at documenta 15: St. Kunigundis meets Haitian Voodoo

peter seeland

Fig. 01: André Eugène: Gede Sekey (2009), here in the St Kunigundis Church in Kassel (while d15). while d15. Image: Čedo Dragomirovic, 21.06.2022.

A human skull opens its jaw. Maybe in an obscene laugh? Metal, cables and wire form its body, which is erect in a coffin. A metal phallus protrudes from the lap. It is a scene that is difficult to reconcile at first with the clearly Christian motifs in the stained-glass windows in the background. A skull without a reliquary in a church? On top with a huge phallus? We are on the periphery of documenta 15 in the Bettenhausen district of Kassel, in the Catholic church of St Kunigundis. We are looking at Gede Sekey, a sculpture of the Haitian collective Atis Rezistans, which is exhibiting here (figure 01). The church was consecrated in 1927 and is made of quarry stone and prestressed concrete. Built in the architectural style of the Heimatschutzarchitektur, the interior is decorated with mosaics and the exterior above the doorway with sandstone figures. The building has been renovated, and it reopened for the first time in 2022 for the d15 exhibition.[1] Atis Rezistans was founded in the 1990s in Port-au-Prince.[2] Today, members from all over the world create art from diverse media and forms. The central themes are Haiti's role in the global postcolonial liberation struggle and conditions in contemporary Haiti. The formal language is influenced by everyday Haitian culture, the social landscape and Haitian Voodoo.[3] The exhibition takes extends throughout the church grounds. An overarching theme is the Haitian Voodoo. A YouTube video gives an impression of the exhibition while the collective performs: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kDr3_PjcyWI&ab_channel=documentafifteen But what do Voodoo and Haiti have to do with a church in Kassel? The artworks guide us through the exhibition for answers. Two cross-shaped sculptures by Andre Eugéné made of stacked oil drums flank the entrance to the church (figure 02). The sculptures bear the names Bawon Samedi and Gran Brijit. They stand in front of the figures of Mary and the saints under the entrance.

Fig. 02: André Eugenè: Bawon Samedi (2022), here in front of the St Kunigundis Church in Kassel (while d15).
Image: Čedo Dragomirovic, 21.06.2022.

  To grasp the sculptures, a look at the structure of Voodoo helps. The world of Voodoo is divided into two parts: a mundane world with humans, animals and objects and a transcendent world of spirits and the dead. Homage is paid to the Lwa, the spirits. They were given to people to connect them to the transcendent world. The Lwa are divided into families, called Nasyon.[4] In the case of Bawon Samedi, the stamped patterns indicate his position. He is the head of the Gede, the Nasyon responsible for death and fertility. Through him, one can communicate with the deceased. As one of the popular Lwa, he is a popular motif in Haitian art.[5] In Voodoo, the shape of the cross stands for the crossroads between life and death. Bawon Samedi decides at the crossroads which path the faithful have to take. [6] Death occupies a special position in voodoo. When ancestors pass into the realm of the dead, it becomes possible to communicate with them. It enables a spiritual connection and transmission of tradition through the generations. Gran Brijit, Bawon Samedi's wife, is the guardian of graves and cemeteries.[7] Eugéné thus marks the exhibition site through Bawon Samedi and Gran Brijit as the Ounfo, or cult site, of the Gede. The location of the sculptures in front of a Christian church is reminiscent of Plaine du Nord in Haiti, a Voodoo pilgrimage site whose entrance is lined with a large cross. Colonial powers once forced Catholicism upon the enslaved people there and placed its symbols on Voodoo places of worship.[8] There is a striking reference to this past in front of St. Kunigundis: Haitians displaying Voodoo symbols in front of a church. It’s perhaps more an invitation to dialogue than an act of suppression. There is a transfer of ideas from contemporary, lived Haitian Voodoo to the middle of Europe. A transfer that surely displays aspects of dis:connectivity: just as the common, echoing colonial history connects, spatial and cultural distance simultaneously disconnects.

Fig. 03 : Lafleur & Bogaert: Famasi Mobil Kongolè (2019-2022), here installed in the Lady chapel of St Kunigundis, Kassel (while d15).
Image: Čedo Dragomirovic, 21.06.2022

Entering the church, we come to a Lady chapel with a wooden Virgin Mary flanked by two sculptures of Lafleur & Bogaert, an artist duo (figure 03). Plastic buckets were connected with tape and covered with coloured pills. Congolese flags are stuck between the pills. The title Famasi Mobil Kongolè reveals yet more: the artists allude to the mobile pharmacies of street vendors and so to Haiti's fragile health system. These vendors provide medical care to many Haitians in place of an intact health system. But what does the reference to Congo mean? The answer lies in colonial history. After the island was conquered by the Spanish, the western part, today's Haiti, was left to the French and the indigenous population was almost wiped out by epidemics and forced labour.[9] In order to continue operating the plantations, millions of enslaved people from Africa were forced to Haiti. At the end of the 18th century, 90 per cent of the population were enslaved Africans,[10] most of them from the Congo.[11] Famasi Mobil Kongolè thus refers to the historical connection of modern Haiti to the Congo but also to the disconnection through the diaspora. Objects of health are installed here as in a shrine around the Virgin Mary. Do they represent a plea for relief from the current misery in Haiti and the Congo caused by the colonialism? However, the Haitian reality is here juxtaposed with a Christian-European context. Where otherwise Catholics present petitions, here it is followers of Haitian voodoo who erect a shrine. Leaving the Lady chapel behind and entering the nave, we gaze upon an abundance of sculptures and paintings. Anthropomorphic figures populate the space usually occupied by the pews where the congregation attend services (figure 04, figure 05). At second glance, one sees that the figures are formed from human bones held together by recycled wire, cloth, mechanical objects and plastic. At third glance, one notices artworks in the side niches and a floating platform between the ceiling and the floor.

Fig. 04: View into the St. Kunignudis Church while Atis Rezistans exhibition at d15.
Image: Čedo Dragomirovic, 21.06.2022

Fig. 05: View into the St Kunignudis Church while Atis Rezistans exhibition at d15.
Image: Čedo Dragomirovic, 21.06.2022.

Turning to the niches, we see a sculpture floating in the air at eye level (figure 07). There, where the Passion of Christ is usually depicted, hangs a doll sitting on a horse. Dressed in dark robes and laughing, the right hand wields a cardboard sword. Sen Jak Maje, Saint James the Great, is the title Katelyne Alexis gave to her work in 2015. How is this childlike knight connected to Saint James, who is known as a pilgrim with a dog and a cape? If we look deeper into the Christian-European iconography of Saint James, similarities emerge. According to legend, James stood by Iberian Christians as a warrior against Muslims.[12] Bringing the depiction of George the dragon-slayer and this legend together, the depiction of James as a riding warrior developed in ninth-century Spain.[13] Named Santiago Matamoros, he was invoked primarily in confrontations with Muslims or in the conquest of America,[14] for example, in the sculpture above the main altar of the Church of Santiago in Logroño , which can be compared with the Sen Jak Maje in Kassel. However, Sen Jak Maje does not point his sword at Islam but swings it towards the altar.

Fig. 06: Katelyne Alexis: Sen Jak Maje (2015), here in the St. Kunigunis Church, Kassel (while d15).
Image: Čedo Dragomirovic, 21.06.2022.

But how did a Catholic Saint end up in the title of this work? And how does its iconography relate to an Ounfo? The history of Haitian Voodoo may helps to understand its relationship to Catholicism. Haitian Voodoo has two main origins, both in Africa: The Rada Cult, originated in Dahomey and the Petro Cult, which originated in the area of modern Congo. Neither cult is not clearly defined, and local varieties can differ greatly. These cults came to Haiti on slave ships. There they met in a confined space and syncretism occurred. The new cults synthesised in the melting pot, forming the basis of Haitian Voodoo and differing from each other as much as from their origins.[15] The Catholic colonial powers used the strategy of cultural amnesia to break the people and make them submit. Before being abducted to Haiti, they had to circumvent the so-called tree of oblivion to turn their backs on their cultures.[16] The Christian mission entailed imposing Catholicism by using laws and religious prohibitions to compel the slaves.[17] But instead of mere Christianisation, the cults developed under this repression. It led to some standardisation of the cults and the formation of identities.[18] But violence led also to the adaptation of Catholic elements in Voodoo through forced estrangement and complying with new rules as a means of survival.[19] The cults thus include Catholic saints in their pantheon, merge them with African-rooted deities and incorporate Catholicism into cult practice. In doing so, the Catholic is complementary and superficial rather than dominant.[20], However, iconographic or attributive similarity also often promotes a synthesis rooted in compulsion and steers it in certain directions.[21] This explains Sen Jak Major: Ogún, a Yoruba war divinity, who is considered one of the oldest and most popular West African deities.[22] He is depicted as a warrior on horseback.[23] Thus, he resembles Santiago Matamoros and is associated with him under the name Ogou Feray by early Voodoo, which is also contains Yoruba influences.[24] Sen Jak is thus a syncretism of Santiago Matamoros and Ogún. [25] So, an African god, wearing a Catholic mask through colonial history, turns his sword towards the altar. He points to the religion that committed crimes against his people and culture. Is he drawing attention to the fact that colonialism has not yet been overcome? Is he encouraging the inexhaustible struggle for freedom? Throughout Haitian history, Voodoo consolidates and serves as a retreat and social identity in times of fear and misery.[26] It has also exerted great influence on Haiti's independence efforts and revolutions. Voodoo priest Dutty Boukman is said to have preached about ‘freedom or death’ in 1791 and thus instigated one of the first revolts.[27] Today, Voodoo still stands for the struggle for freedom. The society is still roughly divided into a small, wealthy, Catholic and Westernised elite and an impoverished majority with Voodoo beliefs. The Catholic Church continued its campaign against Voodoo into the 20st century, violent repression continued in 1942. [28] Today, most Voodoo believers are baptised Catholics, and Catholicism is an integral part of Voodoo. Since 2003, Haitian Voodoo has been the official national religion.[29] The altar area is unusually open. Where priests normally say mass, we encounter further sculptures by Jean Claude Saintilus. Notre Dame de Sept Doleurs (figure 07). To the left of the altar she sits on a plastic chair. Blue textiles veil the body, head and shoulders. Only the face of a human skull peers out from the headscarf. Her eye sockets are filled with metal. Around her neck she wears a clock In the lap lies a nest made of wire, on which an unclothed doll with dark skin is bedded. The doll wears a shell necklace. Between the watch and the doll is an open Bible. Matthew 27.20 to Matthew 28.6, the condemnation, mocking and crucifixion of Jesus until the resurrection, are visible. The sculptures immediately bring to mind representations of Mary and baby Jesus.

Fig. 07 : Jean Claude Saintilus : Notre Dame de Sept Doleurs (2015), here in the St. Kunigunis Church, Kassel (while d15). Image: Čedo Dragomirovic, 21.06.2022.

The Catholic reference is obvious. One interpretation could be that the Bible passage and the Child (Jesus?) in combination with the clock are symbols of life approaching death. Many iconographic details seem to indicate that the specific role of death in Voodoo and the image of man linked to it are brought together with Christian ideas. This is also reflected in the synthesis of the formal languages: a Christian Mary made of classical Voodoo cult materials, like recycled material and human bones. The syncretism reaches a climax here. Voodoo iconography is in a constant state of change, and the Catholic influence is one of many.[30] Atis Rezistans are no exception, and they find their own formal language. They imbue bones and waste with spirit and religious ideas. By decorating the bones with objects of the present, they, like the Lwa, span a bridge between death and life, history and the present. That the exhibition, its works and artists inside have sprung from contemporary Haiti is also evident in the ceiling installation Floating Ghetto made of metal, cardboard boxes and cables. Church, sculptures and the installation intertwine in the shadows. It seems to run parallel to the artists intertwined with history, culture and Catholicism. Floating Ghetto depicts the area around Boulevard Jean-Jaques Dessalines in Port-au-Prince. The adjacent neighbourhoods are populated by the poor, and this is where the recycled material comes from. It connects different historical, geographical and social spaces and is understood as a symbol of the city. This is where Atis Rezistans and their works come from. Many of the people whose bones are used spent their lives on these streets. These bones are provided with recycled remains of a global and local economy, so the sculptures are placed in the Haitian history and a global present. The descendants of people who were exploited to generate the wealth on which the modern Western economy is partly built locate themselves in this world. Placed in the middle of Europe, they thus draw attention to their history and the present and invite us to broaden our perspective. On several levels, the exhibition reveals a global dynamic of ideas involving change and syncretism: slavery forces African cults into Haiti. A dis:connective relationship emerges: the cults are connected to their homeland through cultural tradition and religion and simultaneously disconnected through the diaspora and the pressure of repression. Haitian Voodoo emerges under this dis:connectivity. Atis Rezistans brings the contemporary lived Haitian Voodoo through art to Europe. The locally lived Voodoo is embedded in a local Catholic space as a result of global processes of dis:connectivity. Atis Rezistans proceeds cautiously, allowing cultural exchange and avoiding unilateral imposition. Africa, Haiti and Europe all find a place here under one roof. The Gede and St. Kunigundis are in lively dialogue.   [1] Georg Dehio, Handbuch der deutschen Kunstdenkmäler. Hessen 1, Regierungsbezirke Gießen und Kassel (München: Ernst Wasmuth Verlag, 2008), 103. [2] Detailed information can be found on the website of the collective: http://www.atis-rezistans.com/ [3] Rafael Camacho, ‘Photo Essay: Atis Rezistans: Preserving Haiti’s Anticolonial Resistance’, NACLA, Report on the Americas 50, no. 2 (2018): 188–93. [4] Turine Gael and Laennec Hurbon, eds., Voodoo (Tielt: Lannoo Publishers, 2010), 11, And:; Emmanuel Felix, Understanding Haitian Voodoo (Milano: Xulon Press, 2009), 54–56. [5] Gael and Hurbon, Voodoo, 182. [6] Gael and Hurbon, 182. [7] Gael and Hurbon, 221. [8] Gael and Hurbon, 100. [9] George Kohn, Encyclopedia of Plague and Pestilence. From Ancient Times to the Present. (New York: Infobased Publishing, 2007), 160. [10] C.L.R James, The Black Jacobins (New York: Penguin Modern Classics, 1963), 55; Andrian Kreye, ‘Napoleons Schmach: Die Wurzeln des Elends liegen in der Vergangenheit: Haiti bezahlt immer noch für seine Befreiung vor 200 Jahren: Auch damals nahmen die Wichtigen der Welt den Insel-Staat nicht ernst.’, Süddeutsche Zeitung, 19 January 2010. [11] Gabriel Debien, ‘Les Origines Des Esclaves Des Antilles’, Bulletin de l’Institut Français d’Afrique Noir, 1963, 396. [12] Klaus Herbers, ‘Politik und Heiligenverehrung auf der Iberischen Halbinsel: Die Entwicklung des „politischen Jakobus“’, in Politik und Heiligenverehrung im Hochmittelalter, ed. Jürgen Petersohn (Sigmaringen: Jan Thorbecke Verlag, 1994), 233–35. [13] Adám Anderle, Hungría y España. Relaciones Milenarias. Szegedi Egyetemi Kiadó (Szaged: Szegedi Egyetemi Kiadó, 2007), 16. [14] Claudio Sánchez-Albornoz, ‘La Auténtica Batalla de Clavijo’, Cuadernos de Historia de España 9 (1948): 94–139. [15] Luc de Heusch, ‘Kongo in Haiti: A New Approach to Religious Syncretism’, Man 24, no. 2 (1989): 290. [16] Gael and Hurbon, Voodoo, 11. [17] Rosa Amelia Plumelle-Uribe, Victimes Des Esclavagistes Musulmans, Chrétiens et Juifs. Racialisation et Banalisation d’un Crime Contre l’humanité. (Paris: ANIBWE, 2012), 112. [18] Katherine Smith, ‘Sean Jean Baptiste, Haitian Vodou, and the Masonic Imaginary’, in Freemasonry and the Visaul Arts from the Eighteenth Century Forward. Historical and Global Perspectives, ed. Reva Wolf and Alisa Luxenberg (New York: Bloomsbury Publisher, 2019), 243. [19] Daniel Douglas, ‘Pioneer Urbanities: A Social and Cultural History of Black San Fransisco’ (Philadelphia: University of California Press, 1980), 136. [20] Heusch, ‘Kongo in Haiti: A New Approach to Religious Syncretism’, 291. [21] Heusch, 291. [22] See: Baba Ifa Karade, The Handbook of Yoruba Religious Concepts (Maine: Weiser Books, 1994). [23] Hans Gerald Hödl, ‘Afrikanische Religionen II – Einführung in die Religion der Yorùbá’ (Lecture Summer Term 2003, Universität Wien, Wien: Memento Internet Archive, 2003), 10. [24] Hödl, 294. [25] Heusch, ‘Kongo in Haiti: A New Approach to Religious Syncretism’, 291. [26] Heusch, 290. [27] Ghetto Biennale Atis Rezistans, ed., ‘Booklet St. Kunigundis’, 2022 See: Haitian History. [28] Heusch, ‘Kongo in Haiti: A New Approach to Religious Syncretism’, 294. [29] Alfred Métraux, Voodoo in Haiti (Gifkendorf: Merlin Verlag, 1994), 291. [30] Smith, ‘Sean Jean Baptiste, Haitian Vodou, and the Masonic Imaginary’, 245.  
Anderle, Adám. Hungría y España. Relaciones Milenarias. Szegedi Egyetemi Kiadó. Szaged: Szegedi Egyetemi Kiadó, 2007. Atis Rezistans, Ghetto Biennale, ed. ‘Booklet St. Kunigundis’, 2022. Camacho, Rafael. ‘Photo Essay: Atis Rezistans: Preserving Haiti’s Anticolonial Resistance’. NACLA, Report on the Americas 50, no. 2 (2018): 188–93. Debien, Gabriel. ‘Les Origines Des Esclaves Des Antilles’. Bulletin de l’Institut Français d’Afrique Noir, 1963. Dehio, Georg. Handbuch der deutschen Kunstdenkmäler. Hessen 1, Regierungsbezirke Gießen und Kassel. München: Ernst Wasmuth Verlag, 2008. Douglas, Daniel. ‘Pioneer Urbanities: A Social and Cultural History of Black San Fransisco’. Philadelphia: University of California Press, 1980. Felix, Emmanuel. Understanding Haitian Voodoo. Milano: Xulon Press, 2009. Gael, Turine, and Laennec Hurbon, eds. Voodoo. Tielt: Lannoo Publishers, 2010. Herbers, Klaus. ‘Politik und Heiligenverehrung auf der Iberischen Halbinsel: Die Entwicklung des „politischen Jakobus“’. In Politik und Heiligenverehrung im Hochmittelalter, edited by Jürgen Petersohn, 177–275. Sigmaringen: Jan Thorbecke Verlag, 1994. Heusch, Luc de. ‘Kongo in Haiti: A New Approach to Religious Syncretism’. Man 24, no. 2 (1989): 290–303. Hödl, Hans Gerald. ‘Afrikanische Religionen II – Einführung in die Religion der Yorùbá’. Wien: Memento Internet Archive, 2003. James, C.L.R. The Black Jacobins. New York: Penguin Modern Classics, 1963. Karade, Baba Ifa. The Handbook of Yoruba Religious Concepts. Maine: Weiser Books, 1994. Kohn, George. Encyclopedia of Plague and Pestilence. From Ancient Times to the Present. New York: Infobased Publishing, 2007. Kreye, Andrian. ‘Napoleons Schmach: Die Wurzeln des Elends liegen in der Vergangenheit: Haiti bezahlt immer noch für seine Befreiung vor 200 Jahren: Auch damals nahmen die Wichtigen der Welt den Insel-Staat nicht ernst.’ Süddeutsche Zeitung, 19 January 2010. Métraux, Alfred. Voodoo in Haiti. Gifkendorf: Merlin Verlag, 1994. Plumelle-Uribe, Rosa Amelia. Victimes Des Esclavagistes Musulmans, Chrétiens et Juifs. Racialisation et Banalisation d’un Crime Contre l’humanité. Paris: ANIBWE, 2012. Sánchez-Albornoz, Claudio. ‘La Auténtica Batalla de Clavijo’. Cuadernos de Historia de España 9 (1948): 94–139. Smith, Katherine. ‘Sean Jean Baptiste, Haitian Vodou, and the Masonic Imaginary’. In Freemasonry and the Visaul Arts from the Eighteenth Century Forward. Historical and Global Perspectives, edited by Reva Wolf and Alisa Luxenberg, 243–63. New York: Bloomsbury Publisher, 2019.
citation information:
Seeland, Peter. ‘Atis Rezistans at Documenta 15: St. Kunigundis Meets Haitian Voodoo’. global dis:connect Blog (blog), 27 June 2023. https://www.globaldisconnect.org/06/27/atis-rezistans-at-documenta-15/.
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Dear Tutu: a letter by Palestinian artist Vladimir Tamari on exile, friendship and globalisation

nadia von maltzahn
Dear Tutu, Hello! How are you. At home your letter is hidden under a pile of books, papers, tools & a thousand other things — in our unconditioned house my desk which faces southish is too hot to work at — so I’m writing in this dubious oasis of Western civilization. It is cool & predictable & has a non-smoking floor, — also soft Hawaiian music — did you read Melville’s “Typee” on south sea island — at that (mid 19th c.) time Hawaii was known as the Sandwich islands & its destruction culturally was well underway — it’s all heartrending in a way because Palestine too was a kind of primeval lagoon forgotten for a few centuries by history (Napoleon in Jaffa does not count, too brief!) Your absent-minded & hurried letter was welcome — glad all my vague & precious fulminations about the state of my life & art slid over your head. Let me restate it in simpler terms. I’m too scared, broke, lazy, confused & perhaps am unable to move from this tinsel & transistor paradise where I’ve very uncomfortably & awkwardly parked![1]
  This is how the Tokyo-based Palestinian artist Vladimir Tamari (1942-2017) starts his letter to his friend Tutu, aka Soraya Antonius (1932-2017), who was in Normandy at the time. Written over several days between 2 and 13 August 1991 in suburban Tokyo from a McDonald’s, using a branded paper placemat as stationery for the opening page, the letter addresses questions of exile, friendship and globalisation (figure 1). It demonstrates what ephemera such as this correspondence can teach us about networks, relationships and dis:connectivities in the frame of artistic production.

Fig. 1: Vladimir Tamari: Letter to Tutu, 2 August 1991, cover page recto and verso.

Dis:connectivities here denote the contextual connections and ruptures in which artists create. Dis:connectivity also relates to physical ephemera, their locations, accessibility, fragility, languages and the references they contain. Tamari’s letter could easily have been lost to oblivion, and it has only surfaced by chance.[2] Here the questions arise: what role do ephemera such as this letter play in (art) history? Who should be responsible for preserving them? Should they be considered private objects that belong in private archives?[3] Or should they be archived as part of an artist’s biography and trajectory — classifiable scientific objects? These are questions we are dealing with in the LAWHA research project (Lebanon’s Art World at Home and Abroad), which investigates the trajectories of artists and their works in and from Lebanon since 1943.[4] Let us examine Vladimir Tamari and his letter to Tutu as a case in point.

The artist: cultural references and networks

Who was Vladimir Tamari? In an autobiographical essay published in the same year as the letter, Tamari describes himself as a Palestinian Arab artist, inventor and physicist, born 1942 in Jerusalem and educated at a Quaker school in his hometown of Ramallah, before studying physics and art at the American University of Beirut. He completed his formal education at Saint Martin’s School of Art in London and the Pendle Hill Center of Study and Contemplation, a Quaker institution near Philadelphia. Between 1966 and 1970 he worked with the United Nations in Beirut until he moved with his Japanese wife to Tokyo, where he lived and worked until his death in 2017. In the essay, he emphasises four main influences on his thinking:
  1. church life and rituals (coming from an Orthodox Christian family),
  2. the culture of Islam that surrounded him in Ramallah and Jerusalem,
  3. Palestinian and Arab nationalism and
  4. what he calls ‘a veneer of European “modern” culture and values’.[5]
The cultural references Tamari makes in his letter to Tutu recall these influences. He speaks of the ‘Christian concept of suffering’, the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem and the ascetic St Simeon in Northern Syria. The impact of European ‘modern’ culture and history on his writing is obvious, with references to d’Artagnan, Pablo Picasso, Napoleon, William Wordsworth and Richard Wagner. ‘Global’ classics such as the work of Herman Melville, the Brazilian composer Heitor Villa-Lobos and Leo Tolstoy’s War and Peace are mentioned in the letter with the same familiarity as the contemporary Palestinian poet and author Mahmoud Darwish, the classical Persian poet and scholar Omar Khayyam and the Lebanese writer Amin Malouf. While the cultural references and his language — he writes in English — are testament to his Western-oriented missionary education and his cultural environment, the people he mentions in his letter show what social circles he shares with its recipient: his family, closely linked to the intellectual and cultural scene of the West Bank (his sister Tania and her husband Hanna Nasir, long-time president of Ramallah’s Birzeit University; his other sister Vera, also an artist); Jordanian artist and pro-Palestinian activist Mona Saudi (1945-2022), who spent a large part of her life in Beirut; John Carswell (b. 1931), artist and professor of fine arts at the American University of Beirut; Lebanese artist Fadi Barrage (1939-1988), and Yuzo Itagaki, professor of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies at the University of Tokyo and ‘one of those rare individuals who is all friendship & love for one & all’ and ‘has followed closely Palestinian affairs’, whom he wanted to put in touch with Tutu for a potential Japanese translation of her latest novel. The partial reduction of family names to their first letter shows the mutual familiarity of Tamari and Tutu with each other’s networks.

The predictability of globalisation

In Tamari’s life and letter, globalisation is a double-edged sword. It is represented by McDonald’s, which runs through the five-page letter like a red thread. Most notable is the stationery of the first page; Ronald McDonald and the unmistakable golden arches immediately allow one to locate the paper visually, but Tamari also directly references this symbol of globalisation as an expression of Western civilisation. Without initially calling it by name — it needs no further explanation — he dubs it a ‘dubious oasis of Western civilisation’ as well as ‘dubious paradise’. McDonald’s embodies his frustration and tense relationship with the globalised Western world. On the one hand, it is questionable, on the other it is a refuge for him — cool and predictable, he knows what to expect and keeps returning to it.[6] While global brands are easily found in Japan, this does not translate into an openness to the world. The account of an Egyptian journalist traveling to Japan in 1963 accentuates this disjuncture. He writes that ‘in Japan, one finds all of Europe and all of America. (…) But at the same time, one observes that Japan lives in total isolation. Or rather, it is concerned only with itself and pays almost no attention to the existence of others’.[7] Whereas the first McDonald’s had opened in Japan in 1971, as stated on its official website, the country did not boast a large expat community in the early 1990s. Globalisation in Japan might thus heighten the sense of isolation, as it only provides superficial connectivity. Being a Palestinian in Tokyo was a solitary affair, especially if one was not looking for formal political activism. The Palestine Liberation Office (PLO) operated a Japan office from 1977 to 1995,[8] but having left Beirut for Japan ‘in a spirit of disillusionment’,[9] Tamari limited his pro-Palestinian activities mainly to designing posters on relevant occasions, such as PLO-leader Yasser Arafat’s visit to Japan and the third anniversary of the 1982 Sabra and Shatila massacre, with reference to Hiroshima and Nagasaki.[10]

Exile and friendship

In his letter, Tamari openly voices his discomfort with life in exile in Japan. He speaks of being ‘scared, broke, lazy, confused’ and of his wish ‘to compress the 20 years in Japan to a few representative years’.[11] He feels isolated and misses what he calls a ‘community of the faithful’ — a local network of like-minded friends, with whom he can digest the news from his home country (‘For me — in my imaginations, the very news became a pain & I’ve stopped reading magazines & newspapers lest I be offended by yet another word of misunderstanding of our cause or, yet read of another facet of American official stupidity! Without the shield of a “community of the faithful” in which I can quench the flaming darts of the smug West, I feel every barb deep in my bones, so out of a sense of survival I rejected a lot of what I heard of’).[12] He struggles with himself and the skin he was born in, with all the baggage he perceives goes along with being a Palestinian, but he cannot let go of despite his efforts (‘What am I trying to say to you, to myself … nothing perhaps but just another feeble attempt to take off this hair shirt I was born with’). In this sense, there are clear limitations to his integration in a country in which he has ‘very uncomfortably and awkwardly parked’. At the same time, he sees the irony that his daughter’s Japanese passport allows her to visit his birth town of Jerusalem as a tourist (‘God help us’). Tamari clearly expresses his loneliness and lack of a network of solidarity in Japan.

Fig. 2: Vladimir Tamari: Letter to Tutu, 8 August 1991 (excerpt).

Tamari emphasises the importance of a network of likeminded people, even in a globalised world that supposedly facilitates circulation, the role of friendships and a form of continuity that one can rely on (‘you too, too too, have also created a shell of comfort & friendship & silence in your French retreat’), the ‘capstan on shore’ as he refers to Tutu’s presence in France ‘while [he] floats in this Japanese marsh!’ (figure 2). Imagining her in her house in Normandy comforts him in a world in which he perceives many obstacles to friendship. He knows that his addressee understands him and that she is in a similar situation. They share part of their trajectory — like him, she was born in Jerusalem, British-educated and spent a long time in Beirut, where they consolidated their friendship. Both were fighting for the Palestinian cause to varying degrees and were interested in the arts (figure 3). Thus, the correspondence between Vladimir and Tutu presents a form of connectivity that also has its limits. The immediate experience of life in Tokyo can be described, but cannot be lived from a distance. Their friendship helps him to express his loneliness, but not to surpass the perceived and real disconnectivity that separates Tamari from his network and ‘community of the faithful’.

Fig.3: Vladimir Tamari: Poster designed for the Palestinian novelist Soraya Antonius for the exhibition Palestine in Art, London May 1969. (from: The Palestine Poster Project Archives (PPPA), accessible at https://www.palestineposterproject.org/poster/palestine-in-art-catalog-cover)


Being a Palestinian artist in Japan

In his letter, Vladimir Tamari keeps returning to his artistic practice and discloses how he works and archives. He seems to share copies of his artworks with his correspondent regularly, and it is important to him to discuss his technique and the content of his work (‘there is much, technically & thematically, of interest to the discerning observer (you)’). He refers to the quantity of his sketches and drawings (‘thousands & thousands’), through which one can really get to know an artist, and hints at material for a possible biography that could be written one day. What I find particularly insightful is his description towards the end of the letter about a painting of Jerusalem that he ‘juiced up’, although he considered the simple drawing a better work (‘The other day I made a really nice painting, based on a pencil drawing I probably sent you a copy of — stones roughly arranged to say in Arabic القدس AL-QUDS [Jerusalem] — anyway I juiced it up with color & gold foil, but the pencil drawing remains better’). The subject of much of his oeuvre remained Jerusalem, even after years of exile (figure 4).

Fig. 4: Vladimir Tamari: Arab Jerusalem, 1982, 528 x 728 mm (from: The Palestine Poster Project Archives (PPPA), accessible here https://www.palestineposterproject.org/poster/jerusalem-rock-original-painting)

In this he was not alone, nor in depicting a symbolic version of his hometown. As Makhoul and Hon write about the Palestinian artist and art historian Kamal Boullata, for example, the latter’s representation of Jerusalem as geometric is ‘understandable as an exile’s idealization of a place of origin, but we are left with the feeling that this idealized origin has not only replaced the lost place of his birth but that it also eclipses the present city as a Palestinian urban centre’.[13] Taking this further, the authors suggest that ‘the representation of Jerusalem as a place that can somehow be dislodged from the land, or as a place that is already an image of itself’ is found throughout Palestinian art, exemplified by Sliman Mansour’s Jamal al Mohamel (1973), in which the homeland is being carried as a kind of burden. [14] This connects back to Tamari’s futile attempts to ‘take off this hair shirt [he] was born with’. While his place of birth remained very present in his art works, the use of bright colours and gold foil that one can see increasingly after he moved to Japan suggests an influence of his surroundings in Japan, a place he refers to as ‘tinsel and transistor paradise’ in his letter. Although he considered the simple version the better work, he felt a need to embellish it.

The role of ephemera in writing art history

The letter reveals a range of connections, connectivities and disconnectivities. It transports the reader into 19th-century Hawaii and Napoleon’s France, takes the author back to Palestine of the 1950s and 1960s, connects to Beirut and Ramallah and testifies to the author’s ambivalent relationship to his place of exile and, on another level, to Western civilisation. It bears witness to the entanglements that Tamari shared with his correspondent, and at the same time it shows the limits of its medium — a letter cannot replace the physical presence of a community of like-minded friends. Another aspect of the letter as an object relates to its locality and its potential for dis:connectivity. The letter-as-object embodies dis:connectivity in that it can be displaced, lost, found, sent away and travel long distances. It can end up in an archive, where it becomes part of a larger narrative and subject to scholarly investigation if made accessible. Correspondence, diary entries, notebooks, sketches and other ephemera can divulge the context of artistic production and allow us to see the artists and their works in relation to aesthetic and political discourses, personal encounters and their socio-political and cultural surroundings. As this letter has shown, ephemera provide clues to the personal side of artistic production and bridge gaps in our understanding. To conclude in the words of Vladimir Tamari, ‘perhaps human progress may only be measured by how much each one of us can contribute to shorten the distance between two poles’.[15]   [1] Letter from Vladimir Tamari to Soraya Antonius (Tutu), 2-13 August 1991, 5 pages. Private archives, France. All subsequent quotations that are not separately referenced are from this letter. [2] The letter is part of the collection of Soraya Antonius’s private papers that I manage. [3] Compare to: Sherene Seikaly, ‘How I Met My Great-Grandfather. Archives and the Writing of History’, CSSAAME 38, no.1 (2018): 6-20. [4] This project has received funding from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (grant agreement No. 850760). See https://lawha.hypotheses.org. [5] Vladimir Tamari, “Influences and Motivations in the Work of a Palestinian Artist/Inventor,” Leonardo 24, no1 (1991): 7-14. [6] I am grateful to Peggy Levitt, Cresa Pugh, Andreja Siliunas, Kwok Kian Chow and Joanna Jurkiewicz for their precious comments while we looked at this letter collectively as part of the Global (De)Centre platform. [7] Anis Mansour as quoted in : Alain Roussillon, Identité et Modernité : Les voyageurs égyptiens au Japon (XIXe-XXe siècle (Arles : Actes Sud, 2005), 149. Unless otherwise indicated, all translations are mine. [8] ‘Japan Palestine Relations (Basic Data)’, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan, June 2015, https://www.mofa.go.jp/region/middle_e/palestine/data.html. [9] Vladimir Tamari, ‘The Birth of the Logo for the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine’, Vladimir Tamari, August 2016, http://vladimirtamari.com/pflp-logo.html. [10] These and other political posters are available from the Palestine Poster Project Archives at https://www.palestineposterproject.org/artist/vladimir-tamari. [11] Interestingly, he longs for some Polynesian paradise to spend the rest of his life in, rather than wishing to be back in the Middle East. [12] Like subsequent quotes set in brackets, this quotation comes from Tamari’s letter to Tutu. [13] Bashir Makhoul and Hon Gordon, The Origins of Palestinian Art (Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, 2013), 111. And: Kamal Boullata, Palestinian Art. From 1850 to the Present, London (Saqi, 2009). [14] Makhoul and Hon, Origins, 115. [15] Vladimir Tamari, ‘Al-Rasm Bi-l Ab’ad al-Thalatha’ (Drawing in Three Dimensions)’, Mawaqif 16 (1971): 269.  
Boullata, Kamal. Palestinian Art: From 1850 to the Present. London: Saqi, 2009. Makhoul, Bashir and Gordon Hon. The Origins of Palestinian Art. Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, 2013. Roussillon, Alain. Identité et Modernité : Les voyageurs égyptiens au Japon (XIXe-XXe siècle. Arles: Actes Sud, 2005. Seikaly, Sherene. ‘How I Met My Great-Grandfather. Archives and the Writing of History’. CSSAAME 38, no. 1 (2018): 6–20. Tamari, Vladimir. ‘Al-Rasm Bi-l Ab’ad al-Thalatha’ (Drawing in Three Dimensions)’. Mawaqif 16 (1971): 152–56. ———. ‘Influences and Motivations in the Work of a Palestinian Artist/Inventor’. Leonardo 24, no. 1 (1991): 7–14. ———. ‘The Birth of the Logo for the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine’. Vladimir Tamari, August 2016. http://vladimirtamari.com/pflp-logo.html.  
citation information
Maltzahn, Nadia von. ‘Dear Tutu: A Letter by Palestinian Artist Vladimir Tamari on Exile, Friendship and Globalisation’. Global Dis:Connect Blog (blog), 13 June 2023. https://www.globaldisconnect.org/06/13/dear-tutu-a-letter-on-exile-friendship-and-globalisation/.
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Eine Frau erlebt den roten Alltag written by Lili Körber and designed by John Heartfield (cover): burnt books, exiled authors and dis:connective memories

burcu dogramaci
  In her work Die Bücher (2019/20, fig. 1 + 2), the artist Annette Kelm compiled photographs of book covers of volumes that were destroyed in the ritual book burnings of the National-Socialist era. In the campaign Wider den undeutschen Geist (Against the Un-German Spirit) promoted by the German Student Union, book pyres were erected and set alight in numerous German cities on 10 May 1933.

Fig. 01: Kunsthalle zu Kiel, exhibition view Annette Kelm. Die Bücher, 2022 (© Kunsthalle zu Kiel, photo: Helmut Kunde). Lilli Körber’s Eine Frau erlebt den roten Alltag on the far left.

Fig. 02: Kunsthalle zu Kiel, exhibition view Annette Kelm. Die Bücher, 2022 (© Kunsthalle zu Kiel, photo: Helmut Kunde).

The published lists of books ‘worthy of burning’[1] also included those photographed by Annette Kelm. Her photographs show the covers of 50 first editions of the publications that were burned in the auto-da-fé.[2] The inkjet prints, measuring 52 x 70 cm, show these books in the same bright illumination, with a drop shadow visible that emphasises their three-dimensionality, indicating that these are photographs of objects (not just of the front cover, for example). The photographs show the absent real object, whose contents remain illegible, as Robert Kehl points out in his review in the journal Texte zur Kunst. This shifts the accent from the book as an object of remembrance to the aesthetic diversity of book design, referring to the network of artists and designers of the Weimar Republic and thus problematising the never-linear act of commemoration.[3] In his argumentation, Kehl contrasts the factual and conceptual colour photography with the black and white of the historical photographs of the book burnings.[4] However, Annette Kelm’s expandable series contains more complicated implications that apply equally to Nazi book burning, persecuted writers and destroyed books as well as to the displacement of people and objects. I argue that, through Kelm’s photographic conceptual art, a contemporary audience can re-connect to the dis:connected publications and designs that were dispersed and therefore lost to a German audience due to Nazi persecution. Among the photographs (and, thus, also among the burned books) are several covers designed by John Heartfield: F.C. Weiskopf’s Umsteigen ins 21. Jahrhundert (1937) and Upton Sinclair’s Das Geld schreibt (1930), both published by Malik publishers in Berlin. Also tossed upon the pyre was Lili Körber’s Eine Frau erlebt den roten Alltag from 1932, which was published by Rowohlt Verlag with a book cover by Heartfield and is the starting point for my reflections (fig. 3).

An author, a graphic designer and a book – entangled histories

The literary scholar and writer Lili Körber was born in Moscow in 1897 as the daughter of an Austrian merchant family, and she later lived in Vienna. She was a member of the Social Democratic Workers’ Party, the Union of Socialist Writers and the League of Austrian Proletarian Revolutionary Writers. This political commitment was also expressed in her journalism; Lili Körber wrote for leftist print media, such as the Wiener Arbeiter-Zeitung, the Rote Fahne and the Arbeiter-Illustrierte-Zeitung (AIZ). [5] Together with Anna Seghers and Johannes R. Becher, she accepted an invitation from the Moscow state publishing house to travel to the Soviet Union in 1930. Fluent in Russian, she decided to get to know the living and working conditions of the people by serving as a driller in the Putilov tractor works in Leningrad for several months. It was a factory with a ‘well-known history of revolutionary resistance during the tsarist era’.[6] Körber published her experiences as Eine Frau erlebt den roten Alltag (A woman experiences the everyday life of the Reds), a book published by Rowohlt Berlin in 1932 that runs to 239 pages. The author worked in the genre of documentary novels by reproducing documents such as pay slips and pages from her work logbook in addition to passages from her diary, which convey authentic and personal experiences (fig. 4). The book was a bestseller and was reviewed in the press by, for example, Siegfried Kracauer in the Frankfurter Zeitung, and the run of 6000 copies was sold out in four weeks.[7] No further editions were ever published.[8]

Fig. 03: Lili Körber. Eine Frau erlebt den roten Alltag. Berlin: Rowohlt, 1932, cover design by John Heartfield, cover, spine and back (Archive Burcu Dogramaci, © The Heartfield Community of Heirs / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2023

The book cover was designed by the artist John Heartfield. The volume was published as a paperback with a dust jacket. Heartfield used three photographs for the cover, spine and back (fig. 3): at the front are two women with short haircuts measuring a milled steel piston. The photograph is cropped against a coral background that connects the three outer edges of the cover. The spine displays a square, with people walking in groups in the same direction (downwards in the picture) towards a common goal that lies outside the field of view. It could be a factory gate. On the back cover workers are erecting a large Soviet star and painting it with white Cyrillic letters; the lettering ‘There is metal’ refers to the accelerated construction of the metalworking industry in the Stalinist five-year plan.[9] Stalin’s likeness is presumably attached to the top. The three photographs work with dynamic lines. In front, the women look downwards, while tools and processed material point from the left to the top right. The crowd strides towards the bottom of the picture, the workers and the star are dynamically arranged from bottom left to top right. Heartfield’s design alludes to the content of the book: Körber’s experiences as a driller are echoed in the motifs of the workers, with the Soviet context on the back of the book. The dynamic composition again refers to the author and heroine's constant struggle with social and political circumstances as described in the blurb, which reads: ‘In workshops and hospitals, in furnished rooms and on the street, she fights day after day, with pleasure and agony, the heated lovers’ quarrel between the individual with the collective. Again and again balance is restored, and again and again the quarrel resumes’.[10] In addition, the cover in particular conveys an image of contemporary women and female workers in the Soviet Union, who outwardly resemble the New Women of the Weimar Republic.[11]

Fig. 04: Lili Körber. Eine Frau erlebt den roten Alltag. Berlin: Rowohlt, 1932 (Archive Burcu Dogramaci).

For his book and magazine covers, John Heartfield worked with the technique of photomontage, combining existing and specially taken photographs such that new meanings emerged. On the title page and in the pictures inside the AIZ, Heartfield brought together photographs from different contexts in one pictorial space. Through ‘the aesthetic closure of the cuts between the different photographic parts’[12] a new pictorial logic emerged, as Vera Chiquet notes. Heartfield’s photomontages for the AIZ used artistic means and pictorial constellations to expose the economic entanglements of National Socialism, the viciousness, the aggressiveness, the anti-Semitism of Nazi ideology. In his book covers, produced from 1920 onwards for publishers such as Malik (the publishing house run by Wieland Herzfelde, Heartfield's brother), Neuer Deutscher Verlag and Rowohlt, Heartfield used photographic material to translate books’ contents into artistic forms. [13] The ‘seductive aesthetic’[14] attracted attention on display tables and bookshop windows, and it drove sales along with the content, which was advertised via blurbs and reviews.

Dispersion – John Heartfield and Lili Körber in exile

Due to his political work, Heartfield had to flee to Prague as early as 1933, before continuing his artistic work for the AIZ. Like Heartfield, Körber, as a political author, quickly found herself in the crosshairs of the new rulers. Her 1934 novel Eine Jüdin erlebt das neue Deutschland (A Jewess Experiences the New Germany) ‘one of the first anti-fascist books’,[15] takes place in the transitional period between the end of the Weimar Republic and the establishment of the Nazi state, incisively observing the ideological suffusion of society. The list of harmful and undesirable literature (here as of October 1935), contains ‘Sämtliche Schriften’ (all writings) by Lili Körber.[16] In 1933, Eine Frau erlebt den roten Alltag was among the books burned.[17] A trip to Japan and China in 1934 found literary expression in the travelogue Begegnungen im Fernen Osten (Encounters in the Far East, Biblios publishers, Budapest, 1936, fig- 5) and in Sato-San, ein japanischer Held. Ein satyrischer Zeitroman (Sato-San, a Japanese Hero. A contemporary satyrical novel, Wiener Lesegilde, Vienna, 1936), which is a reflection on Japanese fascism that can also be read as a parody of Hitler. It thus becomes clear that the burning and banning of her books under National Socialism did not deter Körber from publishing political works.

Fig. 05: Lili Körber. Begegnungen im Fernen Osten. Budapest: Biblios publishers, 1936. Cover. (Archive Burcu Dogramaci).

Farewell shortly after the annexation of Austria, Körber fled Vienna to Paris via Zurich, where she wrote for Swiss newspapers and the Pariser Tageblatt.[18] From April 1938 onwards, the social-democratic newspaper Volksrecht in Zurich published the serial novel Eine Österreicherin erlebt den Anschluß (An Austrian woman experiences the annexation), in which Körber, under the pseudonym Agnes Muth, processed her observations in the proven form of an autobiographic novel. Finally, in June 1941, with the support of the Emergency Rescue Committee, she emigrated via Lisbon to New York, where Körber worked in a factory worker and as a nurse.[19] In addition to a few newspaper articles in, for example, the émigré newspaper Das andere Deutschland (The Other Germany) published in Buenos Aires, she also published the serial novel Ein Amerikaner in Russland (An American in Russia) in the New York ‘Anti-Nazi Newspaper’ Neue Volks-Zeitung in 1942/43.[20] Körber fell off the radar in Germany and Austria; her disappearance was the result of political persecution, the confiscation and destruction of her books and her emigration.[21] On the occasion of her 125th birthday, Lili Körber, who died in exile in New York in 1982, was described in a February 2022 newspaper article as ‘none forgotten, but today even a virtual unknown’.[22] This radical judgement must read in the context of the growing scholarly attention paid to her work in recent years. In the 1980s, two of her books were reissued in the wake of ascendant research on women writers and a burgeoning interest in exiled women. In 1984, persona publishers in Mannheim published Die Ehe der Ruth Gomperz (The Marriage of Ruth Gomperz), a re-edition of Eine Jüdin erlebt das neue Deutschland under a new title, and in 1988 the Brandstätter Verlag in Vienna reprinted Eine Österreicherin erlebt den Anschluß.[23] Körber’s book Eine Frau erlebt den roten Alltag has not been re-published to date, but it has been discussed in a number of academic papers.[24]This attention to Körber’s book can be attributed to the fact that male perspectives dominated reports on Russia until 1933, among other reasons. In the approximately 100 German-language reports published on Russia, there were only five other women besides Körber. [25]Nevertheless, the 1991 essay by the art historian Herta Wolf is entitled ‘Lili Körber – An Emigration into Oblivion’,[26] and the literary scholar Gabriele Kreis, who knew Körber personally, stated in 1993: ‘For the Austrian Lili Körber, exile meant the end of her existence as a writer. It turned her into a writing nurse. [...] When I asked her why she became a nurse, she answered: “It was the feeling that you can really do something in this profession, that you are needed.” As a writer, Lili Körber was no longer needed in Germany and Austria’.[27] As for John Heartfield, art history has undoubtedly not forgotten him. Rather, he is especially popular exponent of the Weimar Republic. His exile work, on the other hand, long received less notice. It was seen as subordinate and less political. John Heartfield fled from Prague to London in 1938, where he continued his work in various fields, as a member of the Free German League of Culture for example, composing title pages for magazines such as Picture Post, but above all as a designer for book covers. Heartfield designed numerous book covers between 1941 and 1949, especially for the publishing house Lindsay Drummond. These display both the continuation of his artistic means as well as the political orientation in his work.[28] The Lindsay Drummond publishing house, founded in 1937, had an anti-fascist programme that included books by politically active émigré authors. Not every book Heartfield designed for Drummond had a political impetus, but numerous publications were directed against the Nazi regime and its expansionist policies; they were devoted to wartime England and the Future of the Jews.[29] The book jacket of Wilhelm Necker's Hitler's War Machine and the Invasion of Britain (1941) shows a tank driving away from the viewpoint. The soldiers are captured from behind; parachutists and an aeroplane can be seen in the sky above. Soldiers in ranks, tanks and uniformed men marching are visible on the reverse. The visual symbolism depicts the Nazi army as technically advanced and disciplined; man and machine converge in this logic.

Fig. 06: Paul Duner. A Year and a Day. London: Lindsay Drummond, 1942 , cover design by John Hearfield (Archive Burcu Dogramaci, © The Heartfield Community of Heirs / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2023).

A Year and a Day by Paul Duner (1942, fig. 6), on the other hand, is dedicated to the author's escape from occupied Belgium in October 1940 and the subsequent passage until his arrival in England in October 1941. Heartfield, who signed the cover with his name, juxtaposed photographs from the countries on Duner’s escape route to form a mosaic. On it is a circular map, with Paul Duner’s route into exile drawn in red. Heartfield's work for Lindsay Drummond in particular contradicts the view widely held by art historians that the artist was less noticed in English exile because his work was too modern or radical.[30] That view ignores the fact that the book, like the magazine, was a mobile medium that was bought, read, shared and mailed. Even during the Second World War alone, Lindsay Drummond published 157 books, many of which were designed by Heartfield.[31] Heartfield’s work for the publisher gave him visibility and allowed his work to circulate in the public domain, often with Heartfield’s signature on the covers.[32] Heartfield’s last published work for Lindsay Drummond dates to 1949, and he relocated to East Germany a year later.[33] Though all too often devalued in the literature as him just earning a paycheque, Heartfield cherished his work for Lindsay Drummond, as proven by the many framed covers and motifs adorning the walls of his Berlin flat in Friedrichstraße after his remigration.[34]

Dis:connected objects and actors: reframing exile history

Lili Körber’s book Eine Frau erlebt den roten Alltag thus opens up two exile stories that stand for dispersion, dislocation and new beginnings. Although the book fell victim to Nazi book burning and was confiscated from German libraries, a few copies can still be found in used-book shops. My search was also successful, even ending in a rare copy with a preserved dust jacket. By the way, Lili Körber carried the book with her on her various exile stops. When Gabriele Kreis visited her in New York in May 1980, Körber showed her a copy of Eine Frau erlebt den roten Alltag, but distanced herself from the book because her view of the Soviet Union had long since changed.[35] In a questionnaire sent to emigrant writers in 1959 by the publicist Wilhelm Sternfeld, Körber listed her book Eine Jüdin erlebt das neue Deutschland (1934) as her first publication.[36] She had thus broken with her burnt first work during her exile. Incidentally, Eine Frau erlebt den roten Alltag can also be found in John Heartfield’s estate.[37] The artist thus took it into exile and carried the book with him when he remigrated to the SBZ. This makes it a book with its own history of exile, a moving object, reproductions of which have been repeatedly shown in reproduction at various exhibitions in recent years as part of Annette Kelm's work Die Bücher (2019/20). In conclusion, this also allows us to reflect on the connective and dis:connective. Lili Körber’s book Eine Frau erlebt den roten Alltag is connected to the publication landscape of the Weimar Republic, to the book burnings in National Socialism (and thus denied literary reception in Germany after 1933 and from 1938 onwards in Austria) and to histories of emigration. It is disconnected, though, from the local literary landscape in New York and London, because Körber’s books were not known there and were not available in translation. The book is connected to two actors who remained unconnected/dis:connected due to their global dispersion. Annette Kelm, in turn, has reacquainted the contemporary art scene and a contemporary art audience with Eine Frau erlebt den roten Alltag –- an audience that gains its own access to the dis:connected objects through Kelm’s photographic conceptual art.[38]   [1] On such verbrennungswürdiger Bücher, see: Angela Graf, ‘April/Mai 1933 — Die “Aktion wider den undeutschen Geist” und die Bücherverbrennungen, 9–22. Bonn: Bibliothek der Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, 2003’, in Verbrannt, geraubt, gerettet! Bücherverbrennungen in Deutschland. Eine Ausstellung der Bibliothek der Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung anlässlich des 70. Jahrestages (Bonn: Bibliothek der Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, 2003), 12. All translations from German are by the author. [2] The project was produced in 2019 as part of the exhibition Tell me yesterday tomorrow at the NS-Dokumentationszentrum, Munich. Cf.: Udo Kittelmann, Nicolaus Schafhausen, and Mirjam Zadoff, ‘Probleme in die Zukunft retten’, in Annette Kelm – Die Bücher, ed. Udo Kittelmann, Nicolaus Schafhausen, and Mirjam Zadoff (Cologne: Buchhandlung Walther und Franz König, 2022), 139–40. [3] Robert Kehl, ‘Überlebende Bücher’, Texte zur Kunst, 28 August 2020, https://www.textezurkunst.de/articles/robert-kehl-uberlebende-bucher/; see also: Jan-Holger Kirsch, ‘“Das Buch wird Bild”. Annette Kelms Fotoausstellung “Die Bücher” im Museum Frieder Burda, Salon Berlin’, Visual History, 17 August 2020, https://visual-history.de/2020/08/17/das-buch-wird-bild/. [4] Robert Kehl, ‘Überlebende Bücher’. [5] Cf.: Walter Fähnders, ‘Eine Frau erlebt den roten Alltag. Lili Körbers Tagebuch-Roman über die Putilow-Werke’, in Der lange Schatten des ‘Roten Oktober’. Zur Relevanz und Rezeption sowjet-russischer Literatur in Österreich 1918–1938, ed. Primus-Heinz Kucher and Rebecca Unterberger, Wechselwirkungen. Österreichische Literatur im internationalen Kontext, 22 (Berlin: Peter Lang, 2019), 118–19. [6] Viktoria Hertling, Quer durch: Von Dwinger bis Kisch: Berichte und Reportagen über die Sowjetunion aus der Epoche der Weimarer Republik (Königstein: Forum Academicum, 1982), 95. [7] Siegfried Kracauer, ‘Aus dem roten Alltag’, Frankfurter Zeitung, 24 July 1932, 2. Morgenblatt, 5; see also: Fähnders, ‘Eine Frau erlebt den roten Alltag’, 120; Hertling, Quer durch, 93. [8] The book has also been translated into English, Bulgarian and Japanese. Cf.: Viktoria Hertling, ‘Nachwort’, in Eine Österreicherin erlebt den Anschluss, by Lili Körber (Vienna: Christian Brandstätter, 1988), 151–57. [9] Cf.: Fähnders, Eine Frau erlebt den roten Alltag, 122–23. [10] Lili Körber, Eine Frau erlebt den roten Alltag (Rowohlt, 1932), Blurb. [11] Cf.: Hertling, , Quer durch, 96. [12] Vera Chiquet, Fake Fotos. John Heartfields Fotomontagen in populären Illustrierten, Edition Medienwissenschaft, 47 (Bielefeld: Transcipt Verlag, 2018), 19. [13] On the book covers see above all: Lux Rettej, John Heartfield. Buchgestaltung und Fotomontage. Eine Sammlung, ed. Friedrich Haufe (Berlin: Rotes Antiquariat and Galerie C. Bartsch, 2014). On the website https://heartfield.adk.de all book covers kept in the estate are available, often also different versions. [14] Chiquet, Fake Fotos, 123. [15] Hertling, ‘Nachwort’, 154; Lili Körber, Eine Jüdin erlebt das neue Deutschland (Vienna: Verlag der Buchhandlung Richard Lanyi, 1934). [16] Reichsschrifttumskammer, ed., Liste 1 des schädlichen und unerwünschten Schrifttums. Gemäß §1 der Anordnung des Präsidenten der Reichsschrifttumskammer vom 25. April 1935. (Berlin: Reichsdruckerei, 1935), 67, https://digitale-sammlungen.ulb.uni-bonn.de/periodical/pageview/6670278. [17] ‘Bibliothek verbrannter Bücher’, accessed 13 February 2023. http://www.verbrannte-buecher.de/. [18] Gabriele Kreis, ‘Lili Körber. Leben und Werk’, in Die Ehe der Ruth Gomperz. Roman, by Lili Körber (Mannheim: Persona, 1984), 10. [19] For a description of route Lili Körber and her partner Erich Grave took into exile, see: Viktoria Hertling, ‘Farewell to Yesterday. Lili Körbers Exil in New York zwischen Fiktion und Wirklichkeit’, Dachauer Hefte. Special Issue ‘Überleben und Spätfolgen’ 8, no. 8 (1992): 205–7. [20] I thank Silke Wehrle for making this serial novel accessible to me. [21] Cf.: Hertling, ‘Farewell to Yesterday’, 208. [22] Christiana Puschak, ‘Eine von ihnen. Auf Entdeckungsfahrt in die Wirklichkeit. Vor 125 Jahren wurde Lili Körber geboren’, Junge Welt, https://www.jungewelt.de/artikel/print.php?id=421489. Accessed  April, 2023. [23] Lili Körber, Die Ehe der Ruth Gomperz (Mannheim: Persona, 1984); Lili Körber, Eine Österreicherin erlebt den Anschluß (Vienna: Brandstätter, 1988). [24] See: Hertling, Quer durch; Herta Wolf, ‘Lili Körber. Eine Emigration in die Vergessenheit’, in Eine schwierige Heimkehr. Österreichische Literatur im Exil 1939–1945, ed. Johann Holzner, Sigurd Paul Scheichl and Wolfgang Wiesmüller (Innsbruck: Innsbrucker Beiträge zur Kulturwissenschaft, 1991), 285–298; Fähnders, Eine Frau erlebt den roten Alltag; Katharina Schätz, Alltag im Arbeiterviertel. österreichisch-russische Tagebuchrealitäten bei Alja Rachmanowa und Lili Körber (Vienna: Paesens Verlag, 2019). [25] Cf.: Fähnders, ‘Eine Frau erlebt den roten Alltag’, 121. See also: Matthias Heeke, Reise zu den Sowjets. Der ausländische Tourismus in Russland 1921–1941. Mit einem bio-bibliographischen Anhang zu 96 deutschen Reiseautoren (Münster et al.: LIT Verlag, 2003), 561–637. [26] Wolf, ‘Lili Körber’, 285–298. [27] Gabriele Kreis, ‘”Schreiben aus eigener Erfahrung...” Drei Schriftstellerinnen im Exil: Lili Körber, Irmgard Keun, Adrienne Thomas’, in Zwischen Aufbruch und Verfolgung. Künstlerinnen der zwanziger und dreißiger Jahre, ed. Denny Hirschbach and Sonia Nowoselsky (Bremen: Zeichen+Spuren, 1993), 67–71. [28] Anna Schultz, ‘Uncompromising Mimicry. Heartfield’s Exile in London’, in John Heartfield. Photography Plus Dynamyte, ed. Angela Lammert, Rosa von der Schulenburg, and Anna Schultz (Exh. Cat. Akademie der Künste, 2020), 76–71. For John Heartfield’s work in London, see also: Burcu Dogramaci, ‘John Heartfield’, Metromod, . accessed 14 February, https://archive.metromod.net/viewer.p/69/1470/object/5138-9615821 [29] The exiled Norwegian historian Jacob S. Worm-Müller published Norway revolts against the Nazis (1941, 2nd ed.) with Lindsay Drummond. The Austrian writer Felix Langer, who had lived in exile in London since 1939, published Stepping Stones to Peace. On the problems of post-war relations with Germany (1943). The volume The Future of the Jews was edited by J. J. Lynx in 1945. [30] See among others: Jutta Vinzent, Identity and Image. Refugee Artists from Nazi Germany in Britain (1933–1945), Schriften der Guernica-Gesellschaft, 16 (Weimar: VDG, 2006), 134; Barbara Copeland Buenger, ‘John Heartfield in London. 1938–45’, in Exil. Flucht und Emigration europäischer Künstler 1933–1945, ed. Stepahnie Barron and Sabine Eckmann (Munich: Prestel, 1997), 74. [31] See entries in the catalogue of British Library: http://explore.bl.uk/, accessed 14 February 2023. [32] Anna Schultz writes in ‘Uncompromising Mimicry. Heartfield’s Exile in London’, 197: ‘The firm’s (Lindsay Drummond) directors clearly wished to capitalize on Heartfield’s reputation, and his name was prominently displayed on the covers he designed.’ [33] Almost no information can be found about Drummond. On the one hand, it is said that he founded his publishing house in 1938 and died in 1949: John Krygier, ‘Russian Literature Library’, A Series of a Series: 20th-Century Publishers Book Series, accessed 14 February 2023, https://seriesofseries. owu.edu/russian-literature-library/. On the Wikipedia entry of his father, see ‘Laurence Drummond’, Wikipedia, accessed 14 February 2023, https:// en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laurence_Drummond. [34] Anna Schultz, ‘Uncompromising Mimicry’, 202, footnote 23. [35] Gabriele Kreis, ‘Lili Körber. Leben und Werk’, 7. [36]Ibid., 7. [37] See https://heartfield.adk.de/node/4466, accessed 14 February 2023. [38] This research on John Heartfield was conducted with the support of the author’s ERC Consolidator Grant project ‘Relocating Modernism: Global Metropolises, Modern Art and Exile (METROMOD)’ (European Research Council (ERC) under the Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme, 2016), grant agreement No 724649 – METROMOD.  
Akademie der Künste, ‘Eine Frau erlebt den roten Alltag: Ein Tagebuchroman aus den Putilovwerken’, Heartfield online. Accessed 14 February 2023. https:// heartfield.adk.de/node/4466. ‘Bibliothek verbrannter Bücher’. Accessed 13 February 2023. http://www. verbrannte-buecher.de/. British Library, ‘Explore the British Library’. Accessed 14 February 2023. http:// explore.bl.uk/. Chiquet, Vera. Fake Fotos. John Heartfields Fotomontagen in populären Illustrierten. Edition Medienwissenschaft, 47. Bielefeld: Transcipt Verlag, 2018. Copeland Buenger, Barbara. ‘John Heartfield in London. 1938–45’. In Exil. Flucht und Emigration    europäischer Künstler 1933–1945, edited by Stephanie Barron and Sabine Eckmann, 74–79. Munich: Prestel, 1997 Dogramaci, Burcu. ‘John Heartfield’. Metromod, 20 June 2021. https://archive.metromod.net/viewer.p/69/1470/object/5138-9615821. Fähnders, Walter. ‘Eine Frau erlebt den roten Alltag. Lili Körbers Tagebuch-Roman über die Putilow-Werke’. In Der lange Schatten des ‘Roten Oktober’. Zur Relevanz und Rezeption sowjet-russischer Literatur in Österreich 1918–1938, edited by Primus-Heinz Kucher and Rebecca Unterberger, Wechselwirkungen. Österreichische Literatur im internationalen Kontext, 22., 117–32. Berlin: Peter Lang, 2019. Graf, Angela. ‘April/Mai 1933 – Die “Aktion wider den undeutschen Geist” und die Bücherverbrennungen , 9–22. Bonn: Bibliothek Der Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, 2003.’ In Verbrannt, geraubt, gerettet! Bücherverbrennungen in Deutschland. Eine Ausstellung der Bibliothek der Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung anlässlich des 70. Jahrestages, 9–22. Bonn: Bibliothek der Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, 2003. Heeke, Matthias. Reise zu den Sowjets. Der ausländische Tourismus in Russland 1921–1941. Mit einem bio-bibliographischen Anhang zu 96 deutschen Reiseautoren. Münster et al.: LIT Verlag, 2003. Hertling, Viktoria. ‘Farewell to Yesterday. Lili Körbers Exil in New York zwischen Fiktion und Wirklichkeit’. Dachauer Hefte. Special Issue ‘Überleben und Spätfolgen’ 8, no. 8 (1992): 202–12. ———. ‘Nachwort’. In Eine Österreicherin erlebt den Anschluss, by Lili Körber, 151–57. Vienna: Christian Brandstätter, 1988. ———. Quer durch: Von Dwinger Bis Kisch: Berichte und Reportagen über die Sowjetunion aus der Epoche der Weimarer Republik. Königstein: Forum Academicum, 1982. Kehl, Robert. ‘Überlebende Bücher’. Texte zur Kunst, 28 August 2020. https://www.textezurkunst.de/articles/robert-kehl-uberlebende-bucher/. Kirsch, Jan-Holger. ‘“Das Buch wird Bild”. Annette Kelms Fotoausstellung “Die Bücher” im Museum Frieder Burda, Salon Berlin’. Visual History, 17 August 2020. https://visual-history.de/2020/08/17/das-buch-wird-bild/. Kittelmann, Udo, Nicolaus Schafhausen, and Mirjam Zadoff. ‘Probleme in die Zukunft retten’. In Annette Kelm – Die Bücher, edited by Udo Kittelmann, Nicolaus Schafhausen, and Mirjam Zadoff, 139–40. Cologne: Buchhandlung Walther und Franz König, 2022. Körber, Lili. Begegnungen im Fernen Osten. Budapest: Biblios publishers, 1936. ———. Die Ehe der Ruth Gomperz. Mannheim: Persona, 1984. ———. Eine Frau erlebt den roten Alltag. Rowohlt, 1932. ———. Eine Jüdin erlebt das neue Deutschland. Vienna: Verlag der Buchhandlung Richard Lanyi, 1934. ———. Eine Österreicherin erlebt den Anschluß. Vienna: Brandstätter, 1988. Kracauer, Siegfried. ‘Aus dem roten Alltag’. Frankfurter Zeitung, 24 July 1932, 2. Morgenblatt. Kreis, Gabriele. ‘Lili Körber. Leben und Werk’. In Die Ehe der Ruth Gomperz. Roman., by Lili Körber, 5–13. Mannheim: Persona, 1984. ———. ‘”Schreiben aus eigener Erfahrung...” Drei Schriftstellerinnen im Exil: Lili Körber, Irmgard Keun, Adrienne Thomas’. In Zwischen Aufbruch und Verfolgung. Künstlerinnen der zwanziger und dreißiger Jahre, edited by Denny Hirschbach and Sonia Nowoselsky, 65–80. Bremen: Zeichen+Spuren, 1993. Puschak, Christiana. ‘Eine von ihnen. Auf Entdeckungsfahrt in die Wirklichkeit. Vor 125 Jahren wurde Lili Körber geboren’. Junge Welt, 25 February 2022. https://www.jungewelt.de/artikel/print.php?id=421489. Reichsschrifttumskammer, ed. Liste 1 des schädlichen und unerwünschten Schrifttums. Gemäß §1 der Anordnung des Präsidenten der Reichsschrifttumskammer vom 25. April 1935. Berlin: Reichsdruckerei, 1935. https://digitale-sammlungen.ulb.uni-bonn.de/periodical/pageview/6670278. Rettej, Lux. John Heartfield. Buchgestaltung und Fotomontage. Eine Sammlung. Edited by Friedrich Haufe. Berlin: Rotes Antiquariat and Galerie C. Bartsch, 2014. Schätz, Katharina. Alltag Im Arbeiterviertel. Österreichisch-russische Tagebuchrealitäten bei Alja Rachmanowa und Lili Körber. Vienna: Paesens Verlag, 2019. Schultz, Anna. ‘Uncompromising Mimicry. Heartfield’s Exile in London’. In John Heartfield. Photography Plus Dynamyte, edited by Angela Lammert, Rosa von der Schulenburg, and Anna Schultz, 194–202. Exh. Cat. Akademie der Künste, 2020. Vinzent, Jutta. Identity and Image. Refugee Artists from Nazi Germany in Britain (1933–1945). Schriften der Guernica-Gesellschaft, 16. Weimar: VDG, 2006. Wolf, Herta. ‘Lili Körber. Eine Emigration in die Vergessenheit’. In Eine schwierige Heimkehr. Österreichische Literatur im Exil 1939–1945, edited by Johann Holzner, Sigurd Paul Scheichl, and Wolfgang Wiesmüller, 285–98. Innsbruck: Innsbrucker Beiträge zur Kulturwissenschaft, 1991.  
citation information:
Dogramaci, Burcu. ‘Eine Frau Erlebt Den Roten Alltag, Written by Lili Körber and Designed by John Heartfield (Cover): Burnt Books, Exiled Authors and Dis:Connective Memories’. Global Dis:Connect Blog (blog), 30 May 2023. https://www.globaldisconnect.org/05/30/exiled-authors-and-disconnected-memories/.
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13-15 June, Nomadic Camera. Photography, Displacement and Dis:connectivities

Processes of migration and flight after 2015 and their depiction, perception and distribution through photography are the starting point of ‘Nomadic Camera’. We seek to investigate the relationship of photography and contemporary migration in technology, the media and aesthetics in addition to historical exile and flight as the pivotal discursive setting in which specific forms of mobility extending from the mid-19th century to today have been negotiated. The concept adapts the term ‘nomadic’ — a transitory form of existence — beyond static concepts of being and national boundaries (Demos 2017). ‘Nomadism’ refers to a form of mobility that converges with and diverges from other terms, such as ‘travel’, ‘displacement’ and ‘exile’ (Kaplan 1996). At the same time, displacements are intrinsically related to connective and disconnective experiences, including place-making and belonging, ruptures between life and work in the past and present, experiences of loss and challenges of beginnings. ‘Nomadic Camera’ will centre around the following questions: how do dislocations interconnect with the technical evolution of photography as a mobile medium? How do camera technologies presuppose and affect the visual formulation of exile, migration and flight experiences? What modifications in aesthetics and style, methods and practices of photography do temporary mobility, geographical relocation and resettlement imply?  
Organisers: Burcu Dogramaci (Käte Hamburger Research Centre global dis:connect, LMU Munich), Winfried Gerling (European Media Studies – University of Applied Sciences Potsdam/University Potsdam and Brandenburg Centre for Media Studies (ZeM), Potsdam), Jens Jäger (University of Cologne) and Birgit Mersmann (University of Bonn)  
13 June 2023 gd:c annual lecture / Keynote ‘Nomadic Camera’: Historisches Kolleg Kaulbachstraße 15 80539 Munich
14/15 June 2023 Workshop ‘Nomadic Camera’: Käte Hamburger Research Centre global dis:connect Maria-Theresia-Str. 21 81675 Munich
14 June 2023 Film screening Fati’s Choice: Arena Filmtheater Hans-Sachs-Str. 7 80469 Munich   Please register by 4 June HERE.  
Click HERE to download the programme.   Continue Reading

Yvonne Hackenbroch’s birdcage: the experience of Jewish exile and the return as object

änne söll

Fig 1: Yvonne Hackenbroch with family dog 'Racker', Frankfurt on the Main, c. 1935/36 (from: Jörg Rasmussen: Festschrift: Studien zum europäischen Kunsthandwerk, München 1983, cover).

Two years after receiving her doctorate from the University of Munich in 1936, the Jewish art historian Yvonne Hackenbroch (1912 – 2012) was compelled to leave Germany and emigrate to London in 1938, where her older sister and mother were already residing. Yvonne Hackenbroch’s father, a prominent and prosperous art and antiques dealer, had passed away the year before. This photo portrait shows Hackenbroch with the family dog ‘Racker’ (Rascal) in her native city, Frankfurt am Main, near her parents’ house in 34 Untermainkai. It is from this house, Yvonne Hackenbroch’s childhood home in Frankfurt, that the birdcage in question originates.

Fig. 2: Birdcage, 1757, 26.3 x 35.5 x 21.2 cm, carved, partly coloured and gilded oak and coniferous wood, metal wire covering, tray, Historisches Museum Frankfurt am Main, donated by Yvonne Hackenbroch 2012 (© Horst Ziegenfusz).

Hackenbroch took the cage with her to London. In fact, it accompanied her throughout her exile spanning decades. The two went first to Toronto, where she worked from around 1945 until 1949 as a curator for the Fareham Collection at the University of Toronto, then to New York, where she curated the Irwin Untermeyer Collection, even moving with the collection when it was relocated to the Metropolitan Museum. When she returned to London after her retirement in 1982, the birdcage was again among her belongings and remained in her apartment near Hyde Park until her death in 2012. At her behest, the wooden cage was then donated to the Historical Museum in Frankfurt as a ‘token of reconciliation[1]’ by her great-nephew Adam Hills. The cage is thus both a gift and a legacy. In its current presentation at the museum, as will become clear, it is as much a gesture of reconciliation as it is an object of admonition. The birdcage as museum object also produces a contradiction: it is simultaneously a symbol of incarceration as well as a reminder of Hackenbroch’s endurance and dignity in the face of persecution turning it into a truly dis:connected object. With this bequest, Hackenbroch has (re-)inscribed herself and her displaced family into the history of the city of Frankfurt and sent what initially appears to be a reconciliatory message to the post-war generation. This gift can also be seen as the symbolic ‘return’ of Hackenbroch to the city of Frankfurt, which she had visited sporadically after the war, even delivering a lecture at the Historical Museum in 1990, but from which she was to remain permanently exiled, though it was the place she first called home. Since incorporating the birdcage into its collection in 2013, the Historical Museum in Frankfurt has preserved it and, since 2017, displayed it not only in its permanent exhibit on the history of the city, specifically as part of the display on National Socialism, but also shown it online as an item in the digital collection. Within the museum, the birdcage thus leads a double life, for, as will become clear, its physical presentation in the collection and its presentation on the museum's online platform are significantly different.

Bird/human/enlightenment: history, function and the symbolism of the cage

The birdcage presumably dates from 1757, as the year is emblazoned – prominently – along with Frankfurt's eagle emblem on its front. Why the year 1757 was so conspicuously positioned on the front of the cage, however, remains a mystery.[2] 1757 is not connected with any significant event in Frankfurt’s history. Was the year an important turning point in the life of the person or family who owned it? A marriage or a birth perhaps? Or maybe it had not belonged to a family at all, and 1757 marks the founding of a bird breeders’ association? Was the date inscribed on the cage retroactively, or does it denote the year of its manufacture? It is also impossible to determine whether the cage is a family heirloom that had belonged to the Hackenbroch family since the 18th century. After all, her mother’s side had resided in Frankfurt from the late Middle Ages. Might the cage not have come from Zaccharias Hackenbroch’s antique business after all? In short, there is no reliable information about the first 250 years of the birdcage’s ‘biography’. What is certain, however, is that the birdcage with its eagle, the emblem of the city of Frankfurt, reminded Yvonne Hackenbroch of her origins and that she valued the object immensely for that reason.[3] Thus, following Tilmann Habermas, the birdcage’s function for Hackenbroch was to integrate and symbolise her life story in exile.[4] In this way, the cage can also be called a Verlustsouvenir,[5] ‘a souvenir of loss’ that reminded Hackenbroch of the hometown that she had to leave behind and of her father, who most likely acquired it. In addition to the imposing eagle on the outside, the cage also contained a bird: when it was delivered to the museum, there was a small wooden bird inside. It is not a mechanical songbird in a cage of the kind that was popular in the salons of the early 18th century, but a simple, modern wooden toy, likely manufactured in the 20th century. Its greenish-yellow colouring resembles a canary. It is, therefore, a ‘modern’ inhabitant of an ‘old’, richly decorated and stately birdcage. In addition to its two bays, where the food dish and water bowl can be placed, the cage is made of partially gilded oak, softwood and iron rods.[6] Measuring 26cm x 25cm x 21 cm, the cage is quite small and was most likely intended for a delicate, domestic songbird or canary. Canaries had been bred in Tyrol as early as the 18th century and sold in large European cities by traders organised in guilds.[7] Birdcages of the 18th and 19th centuries featured a variety of designs from simple wood and wire models to elaborate, ornate versions made with costly materials.[8] This range indicates that bird keeping was a common activity across (almost) all social classes. Small pets, such as dogs and squirrels and birds, grew increasingly popular in the 18th century as ‘luxury objects of the “better circles” and social climbers’.[9] Birds were thus ‘the means and locus of social distinction and the representation of power’.[10] They were relevant to the starkly segregated social classes for different reasons. The nobility kept birds for reasons of status, including falconry birds and expensive birds imported from overseas. Learned, bourgeois circles — largely men — were interested in birds as objects of study. Bourgeois women, on the other hand, kept birds as companions and amusements, sometimes training them.[11] In the course of the 18th century, according to Julia Breittruck, there was a ‘”bourgeoisification” of the bird. Songbirds were no longer just a noble, elite accessory, but became a bourgeois cultural asset.’[12] Especially in genre paintings of the 18th century, birds are more frequently depicted as the domesticated pets of bourgeois ladies. For example, in this painting by Jean Simeon Chardin, a lady plays a melody to her canary on a serinette — a small organ made especially for this purpose.

Fig. 3a Jean-Baptiste-Siméon Chardin: La Serinette, also called Lady varying her amusements, 1751, 50 x 43 cm, oil on canvas, Musée du Louvre, Paris (© 2010 RMN-Grand Palais (musée du Louvre) / René-Gabriel Ojéda).

Fig. 3b: Jean-François Colson: Portrait of the chemist Balthazar Sage, 1777, 100,5 x 81 cm, oil on canvas, Musée des beaux-arts, Dijon (© Musée des Beaux-Arts de Dijon/ François Jay, from: Julia Breittruck, Ein Flügelschlag in der Pariser Aufklärung, Zur Geschichte der Beziehungen zwischen Menschen und ihren Vögeln, Dortmund 2020, 64).

According to Julia Breittruck, the motif of the bourgeois lady with a bird she has trained was very popular in the mid-18th century. Breittruck sees this as enjoining bourgeois women to engage in the rearing not only of birds but also, of course, of their own children. In contrast to the aristocracy, bourgeois women were encouraged to see child-rearing as their intrinsically ‘female’ duty. The preoccupation with parlour birds was thus gender coded. While women were expected to educate, men were assigned the role of scientist, and their attention to birds became part of an experiment. Pet birds also developed into objects of bourgeois entertainment for ‘convivial circles’ and in salons over the course of the 18th century. They became domestic companions, kept in the private rooms reserved for family and close friends.[13] Consequently, ‘domesticated birds became more and more the private leisure companions of their respective owners, even co-constituents of the kind and manner of private leisure’.[14] In paintings and prints, the bird functions, according to Julia Breittruck, ‘as the imagined and real double, the eyes and ears of its owner’. Hackenbroch's birdcage, then, transports us to a time when songbirds had become a leisure activity of the middle classes and the object of scientific investigation and educational ambitions. So how did these factors impact museum’s presentation of its newly acquired object?

Semiophores: the twofold contextualisation of the birdcage in the museum

One of the fundamental tenets of museology is that objects stored or displayed in museums trade their original meaning and use value for a new one. They become what are known as ‘semiophores’,[15] a term coined by the Polish historian Krysztof Pomian to describe objects whose purpose, meaning or value is transformed with their relocation to the museum. In this vein, Hackenbroch’s birdcage loses its function as an 18th-century animal enclosure and the historical connotations discussed above. As a sort of ‘prison’, the old birdcage in the new context of the Historical Museum may allude to forced emigration and the ambiguous ‘freedom’ of exile. If we then see the wooden bird in the cage as representing the cage’s owner (and her persecuted family), we soon grasp the birdcage as a visual metaphor for the persecution of Jews in the Third Reich.

Fig. 4: Birdcage as shown within the Historische Museum Frankfurt's permanent collection (© 2022 the author).

Hackenbroch's cage, however, is not displayed in isolation but gains a special inflection from the objects around it, evoking a host of significations from which the historical background of 18th century fades entirely. Standing in the Historical Museum before the display case containing the birdcage, which forms part of the exhibit on National Socialism in Frankfurt,[16] the visitor sees diagonally below it a broken Biedermeier chair. The chair likely originates from the Museum of Jewish Antiquities that opened in 1922 in the former house of the Rothschild banking family in Frankfurt, which was looted and destroyed in 1938.[17] To the left of the cage is a can of Zyklon B, the poison manufactured in Frankfurt and used for mass murder in concentration camps. Walking around this ‘island’ of glass display cases, the visitor sees behind the bird cage objects ranging from a silver swastika once used as a Christmas tree ornament in a Frankfurt household to silver teapots and cutlery that once belonged to Frankfurt Jews that were confiscated and forcibly sold by the Nazi regime in the 1930s and 40s. In this arrangement, where the tools of destruction clash with bourgeois Jewish urban and commemorative culture – a composition designed deliberately by the museum’s curators to create contradictions and startling object constellations – the dainty birdcage with its Frankfurt eagle naturally signifies the annihilated Jewish urban culture of Frankfurt. That Hackenbroch took this cage into exile and donated it to the museum posthumously as a gesture of reconciliation is only revealed through the inscription on the display case. In light of the juxtapositions, the repatriation of the birdcage and the concomitant reconciliation recedes into the background. Nevertheless, the cage as gift also signals an intrinsic dialectic. After all, the cage as ‘prison’ refers to internment, execution and, with respect to exile, the forced escape from persecution, internment and death. The cage is thus not only a gesture of reconciliation and a symbolic return, but also an object of admonition.

Fig 5: Birdcage as shown on the Historische Museum Frankfurt's website, Screenshot (https://historisches-museum-frankfurt.de/de/node/34467?language=de, 07.02.2023).

While the birdcage in the museum is presented in the context of the threat to and annihilation of Jewish culture in Frankfurt, assuming various, sometimes contradictory levels of meaning, the website depicts it as an isolated object. It is displayed there with an inventory number, object data and the text of the panel on the display case, which informs visitors about the donor, her history of exile and her gift as a sign of reconciliation. The question, then, is which presentation better does justice to the object, its only partially reconstructable history and to the exile of its previous owner? Having first become acquainted with the birdcage virtually due to the pandemic, and only later being able to view it physically exhibited, I was initially surprised by the museum's perceptual arrangement (Wahrnehmungsordnung).[18] The juxtaposition of the birdcage with the objects described above disturbed me, as I had not expected to see it next to a can of Zyklon B. In the words of Gottfried Korff, the placement of the birdcage in the museum put me, the visitor, ‘in a state of heightened, imagination-enhancing self-awareness’.[19] The objects are arranged to place the birdcage visually and conceptually in the context of National Socialism and its extermination machine, subordinated or eliminating other associations. According to Korff, ‘the subject [through museum arrangements, in the best case] should be freed of pragmatic references and become porous in the “performative” process of perception’.[20] Korff is highlighting the fact that visitors can become more receptive, permeable, ‘porous’ to historical, social and emotional entanglements through such provocative arrangements. In the case of the birdcage, however, it also means that we are not only reminded of the object's connections to the period of National Socialism in Frankfurt, but are also reminded of the ruptures, detours, stations of exile — the dis:connections — contained in the fragmentary history of the birdcage. Thus, the birdcage does not function exclusively as a symbol or memento. As a multi-dimensional object, it resists clear-cut interpretation and integration into discourses of exile or National Socialism. This is complicated further by the fact that, as Doerte Bischoff and Joachim Schlör argue, objects of exile retain a ‘minimal power […] to preserve human dignity’.[21] The birdcage as a symbol of incarceration (and therefore inhumanity) on the one hand and as the symbol of Hackenbroch’s endurance and dignity on the other combines in itself contradictions that cannot be easily resolved, transforming the birdcage into a truly dis:connected object.

Dis:connectivities in the museum: exile, return, reconciliation?

As Burcu Dogramaci and her colleagues aptly describe in their preface to an edition of the Jahrbuch Exilforschung devoted to archives and museums of exile, the ‘placement of such materials in archives and museums [confronts us] with a tension between a delimiting situatedness, on the one hand, and a portability and boundarylessness to which they themselves bear witness’.[22] With respect to Yvonne Hackenbroch's birdcage, this tension arises not only from the object’s placement in the museum, but from the cage itself, which, as a movable thing, paradoxically exists to restrict the bird's freedom of movement. The birdcage embodies the indissoluble dialectic of exile as ‘liberation’ from persecution, on the one hand, and captivity in a foreign land on the other. It symbolises an intermediate state best described by Rafael Cardoso: ‘Exile, in the broad sense of the term, is a condition. One that involves simultaneous absence and presence […]. There is a liminality to this condition, an essential in-betweenness, that precludes ever arriving at anything so clear cut and unambiguous as freedom of the past.’[23]The return of the birdcage to the Historical Museum in Frankfurt is not an unequivocal gesture of reconciliation. Instead, the birdcage carries Hackenbroch’s exile experience within it and affects us, as Arjun Appadurai argues, through ‘the force of [its] histories, journeys, accidents and adventures’.[24] Hackenbroch's birdcage, then, is an ambivalent signifier of forced emigration and ‘dislocation’ that challenges us to see the experience of exile as a ‘cage perspective’ rooted in violent displacement from which there can be no liberation, not even for those standing outside the cage.   [1]  ‘ Zeichen der Versöhnung’ as worded in the object description of the museum: https://historisches-museum-frankfurt.de/de/node/34467, last accessed on 3 February. 2023, and: Jan Gerchow and Nina Gorgius, eds., 100 * Frankfurt: Geschichten aus (mehr als) 1000 Jahren (Frankfurt: Societäts Verlag, 2017), 274–75. [2] Neither the Hackenbroch family nor the museum curators were able to provide any information in this regard. [3] Adam Hills, Email to author, 21 February 2022. [4] Tilman Habermas, Geliebte Objekte. Symbole und Instrumente der Identitätsbildung (Frankfurt: Suhrkamp Verlag, 1996), 281. [5] Habermas, 278. [6] Julia Breittruck, Ein Flügelschlag in der Pariser Aufklärung: Zur Geschichte der Beziehungen zwischen Menschen und ihren Vögeln (Munich: University Library LMU, 2021). [7] Breittruck, 3–39. [8] This is based on research in the image library of the European Cultural Heritage Database, which I cannot discuss here due to space limitations: https://www.europeana.eu/de, Access date missing [9] Breittruck, Ein Flügelschlag in der Pariser Aufklärung: Zur Geschichte der Beziehungen zwischen Menschen und ihren Vögeln, 40. [10] Breittruck, 53–54. [11] Breittruck, 40 et seq. [12] Breittruck, 41. [13] Breittruck, 83. [14] Breittruck, 87. [15] Krzysztof Pomian, Der Ursprung des Museums: Vom Sammeln (Berlin: Wagenbach, 1988). [16] My visit to the Historical Museum in Frankfurt took place in May 2022. I thank the curators Nina Gorgus and Anne Gemeinhardt for their help and cooperation in my research. [17] Gerchow and Gorgius, 100 * Frankfurt: Geschichten aus (mehr als) 1000 Jahren, 277–79, on the Can of Zyklon B, 291– 93. [18] Gottfried Korff, ed., ‘Speichern und/oder Generator: Zum Verhältnis von Deponieren und Exponieren im Museum’, in Museumsdinge, deponieren/exponieren, 2nd ed. (Cologne: Böhlau Verlag, 2007), 172. [19] Korff, 173. [20] Korff, 172. [21] Doerte Bischoff and Joachim Schlör, ‘Dinge des Exils. Zur Einleitung’, in Dinge des Exils, Jahrbuch Exilforschung 31, 9-22. (Berlin/Boston: De Gruyter, 2013), 18. [22] Sylvia Asmus, Doerte Bischoff, and Burcu Dogramaci, eds., Archive und Museen des Exils, Jahrbuch Exilforschung 37 (Berlin/Boston: De Gruyter, 2018), 2. [23] Rafael Cardoso, ‘The living archive: On Hugo Simon’s posthumous return to Germany’, in Archive und Museen des Exils, Jahrbuch Exilforschung 37 (Berlin/Boston: De Gruyter, 2019), 106. [24] Arjun Appadurai, ‘Museum Objects as Accidental Refugees’, Historische Anthropologie 25, no. 3 (November 2017): 406.
Appadurai, Arjun. ‘Museum Objects as Accidental Refugees’. Historische Anthropologie 25, no. 3 (November 2017): 401–8. Asmus, Sylvia, Doerte Bischoff, and Burcu Dogramaci, eds. Archive und Museen des Exils. Jahrbuch Exilforschung 37. Berlin/Boston: De Gruyter, 2018. Bischoff, Doerte, and Joachim Schlör. ‘Dinge des Exils. Zur Einleitung’. In Dinge des Exils, Jahrbuch Exilforschung 31, 9-22. Berlin/Boston: De Gruyter, 2013. Breittruck, Julia. Ein Flügelschlag in der Pariser Aufklärung: Zur Geschichte der Beziehungen zwischen Menschen und ihren Vögeln. Munich: University Library LMU, 2021. Cardoso, Rafael. ‘The living archive: On Hugo Simon’s posthumous return to Germany’. In Archive und Museen des Exils, Jahrbuch Exilforschung 37, 96–107. Berlin/Boston: De Gruyter, 2019. Gerchow, Jan, and Nina Gorgius, eds. 100 * Frankfurt: Geschichten aus (mehr als) 1000 Jahren. Frankfurt: Societäts Verlag, 2017. Habermas, Tilman. Geliebte Objekte. Symbole und Instrumente der Identitätsbildung. Frankfurt: Suhrkamp Verlag, 1996. Korff, Gottfried, ed. ‘Speichern und/oder Generator: Zum Verhältnis von Deponieren und Exponieren im Museum’. In Museumsdinge, deponieren/exponieren, 2nd ed. Cologne: Böhlau Verlag, 2007. Pomian, Krzysztof. Der Ursprung des Museums: Vom Sammeln. Berlin: Wagenbach, 1988. Continue Reading