Danielle Durchslag, Relative Unknown 28, 2013, paper, tape, glue, vintage board, 6 x 9 inches
Relative Unknowns is on view at the Denny Gallery in New York through February 2, 2014.
Most of us grow up in homes where a mix of historical and recent family photos preserve the family’s collective memory, linking present to past, and serving as a tangible way to honor and safeguard the memories of loved ones no longer with us physically. Yet our displays — like our memories — are selective.
Even as a little kid, I felt drawn most to the photos that didn’t make the cut. These, my mother kept relegated to a large, plastic bin in the upstairs closet. As soon as I could climb a ladder, I’d spend hours poring over the contents. I loved examining the faces of people I knew, witnessing their different hairstyles and dress choices over time.
Lately, virtually everyone I know who has some kind of association – professional, emotional, familial, religious or intellectual – with the American Jewish community has been reading tea leaves, trying to figure out, in the wake of the Pew Research Center findings, what the future might hold.
I, too, have been reading tea leaves (Darjeeling, anyone?), but the ones I find at the bottom of my tea cup belong to Moses Mendelssohn, the celebrated 18th-century German Jewish philosopher who sought valiantly to come up with a series of strategies to align Jewishness with modernity.
“In my art practice I’ve been frustrated by my discomfort with bringing my spiritual practice and identity into the objects I make,” artist Danielle Durchslag, co-creator of “Assembly Required: Sukkah Salon,” tells Zeek in this Q & A. “Somehow the two have stayed separate. This exhibition is an attempt to bridge those worlds.”
Choreographer and dancer Jody Oberfelder reflects on home, heart, Judaism, and her newest creation, 4Chambers, a new experiential performance installation premiering this summer on Governors Island in New York. With onsite photos of the upcoming performance by Julie Lemberger.
New poetry from poet and performer Jake Marmer.
This year’s project began with a scratch of an idea. In preparation for Sinai, the receiving of the Torah, I wanted to explore what it means to hold on to something.
Three poems from “The Sacrifice of Abraham,” a series of re-tellings of the biblical story of Isaac and Abraham. In each section, a group of rabbis gathers to re-tell and offer commentary on the story, and with each re-telling transforms it into a broader and broader vision encompassing Greek gods, revolutionaries, insurgents, love affairs, and photographic details from current events.
The variety of “Sh-t Jews Say” videos reveal much about how American Jews see themselves in relation to each other and to the society in which they live.
Women religious artists have sought to reclaim a common, local, cultural space (artistic, religious and concrete ) whereby religion and culture constitute a common ground for connection, and not only a platform for dispute and conflict.
Zeek is proud to have again cosponsored the Anna Davidson Rosenberg Poetry Awards, and to be publishing the winners of this year’s contest: “Variation (Let’s Pretend) by Lauren Camp, and Excerpt from “Fantasy for the Shal Women” by Yosefa Raz.
All of us here at Zeek are deeply saddened to learn of the untimely death of Azriel Cohen, whose artwork has graced these pages many times. Here is some of Azriel’s diverse body of work, taken from different projects over the years.
The only one of my mother’s melodies to remain is the sing-song of the shamash from the Remuh Synagogue in Krakow as he passed at night through the streets of the ancient ghetto, knocking on the window shutters and waking the Jews for selichot.
In Toledo we sat at a small round table
beside a rose garden and the synagogue,
our children grouchy from the long walk and the heat…
This is the last work of the late, great Harvey Pekar, who passed away two years ago at the age of 70: an autobiographical, narrative account of Pekar’s own relationship to the Land and State of Israel (which he never visited). It’s a political work, but primarily a personal story of lessons half-learned, allegiances formed and broken.
An excerpt from Joshua Henkin’s new novel, The World Without You, to be published by Pantheon Books on June 19.
Jewish feminist art by women active in the traditional religious world is still a marginal phenomenon in the general art world and in the Israeli art field in particular. This article, together with the first major exhibit in a museum to exhibit such work, “Matronita: Jewish Feminist Art” (The Museum of Art Ein Harod) invites a reflection on the complexities of the feminist Jewish religious experience. David Sperber, one of the curators of the exhibition (with Dvora Liss), here reviews the artistic horizons of this fascinating dialogue.
Congregation Beth Elohim, 7–10 pm
274 Garfield Place, Brooklyn, NY
Join us for the fifth in a series of highly interactive, non-persuasive, non-political discussions with a diverse group of people in their 20s and 30s.
Modern Purim celebrations use the traditional play as a vehicle for popular education around a broad range of issues by playing with the iconic roles typified by the Megilla’s characters: good girl, bad girl, stupid king, valiant citizen, evil politician. These traditional players can easily and informatively be mixed up with any combination of modern kings, s/heroes, insider/outsider activists, popular resistance movements, and evildoers-ex-machina.
There may not be a causal relationship between Jewishness and an avant-garde sensibility, but Jewish communities have given rise to some terrific avant-garde work. Or maybe Jews just tend to be comfortable outside the mainstream, which is often where the most interesting creative work flourishes and finds its home.
The quince was a cure-all to the ancients, but in Avshalom Kaveh’s twisted world, the fruit takes sides against our natural capacity to forgive and forget. This tragicomic story of angels and human devilry is Kaveh’s first publication in English. (Translated by Stephen Katz.)
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