Diptych Exhibition: Holocaust - Nakba
First Exhibit: Eric Bokobza, "Evil".
Opening: Thursday, November 21, 2013, 8pm.
Second Exhibit: Dvora Morag, "And you shall tell your daughter".
Opening: Thursday, December 5, 2013, 8pm.
Curator: Ktsia Alon.
At Zochrot's Visual Research Laboratory: 34 Yitzhak Sadeh St. Tel Aviv. 4th floor, room 400. Open Sunday to Thursday 10:00 - 15:00. Call to make sure: 03-6953155.
Yair Oron called his book Holocaust, Resurrection and the Nakba. He seems to have felt obligated to add the word "resurrection" as a symbolic buffer between "Holocaust" and "Nakba." It would seem that any comparison between these two cataclysmic events should be rejected immediately, intuitively. To say "Holocaust and Nakba" in the same breath would be unconscionable. But it appears that contemporaries as well as the survivors themselves had no compunctions about making that analogy, and still don't. Golda Meir, when she visited Jaffa in May 1948, said: "I saw homes where pitas and cups of coffee had been left on the table and couldn't help imagining that there must have been similar scenes in many little Jewish towns." It's hard to conceive of an Israeli politician expressing such feelings today.
Here's what Dvora Morag's mother, who survived Auschwitz, says in the video about exactly the same situation: "We can't take the apartment in Jaffa, because we can't do what they did to us." War, becoming a refugee, fleeing to save your life, the fear of death gnawing at you mercilessly - these are basic human experiences, independent of time and place.
Eric Bokobza's exhibit is based on a shocking iconic photograph displayed at Yad Vashem. It shows a Nazi soldier shooting a naked Jewish woman who tries to protect her baby. Bokobza's painting universalizes the situation. He transforms the black-and-white photograph into an exaggeratedly colorful visualization that disguises the terror with a grotesque aestheticism drawing on children's drawings and the Japanese tradition.
This diptych forces us to confront a reality: evil is a daily presence in Israel - we are morally obligated to combat it in every way possible - recognizing the suffering of others does not diminish our own - long-suffering peoples must literally transcend their own anguish in order to transform the feelings of victimization into a sanctified peace.