Well Versed

A Communal Exploration Of Mental Illness

For three consecutive Wednesday evenings, beginning April 30th, the Drisha Institute for Jewish Education will partner with Congregation B’nai Jeshurun to co-host a groundbreaking series of experiential workshops and lectures, “Confronting Mental Illness.”

Devora Steinmetz. Courtesy of Drisha Institute

Waiting For The End Of The World

Keep an eye out for future productions of Noémi Schlosser’s wry theater piece "Traktorfabrik."  I was lucky enough to catch a staged reading of part of it recently as part of the Emerging Artists Theatre’s New Works Series.

Poster for “Traktorfabrik.” Courtesy of Noemi Schlosser

Celebrating 1960s Global Minimalism In Style

To celebrate its new exhibit on global minimalist sculpture, “Other Primary Structures,”  The Jewish Museum opened its galleries and hosted a dance party for revelers last week.

Installation view of "Other Primary Structures" at The Jewish Museum, New York. David Heald/The Jewish Museum

Returning Anew To Minimalist Sculpture

“Other Primary Structures” at The Jewish Museum can be seen as a nod to the institution’s past. The museum staged a major exhibit of minimalist sculpture called “Primary Structures: Younger American and British Sculptors” in 1966.

Installation view of "Other Primary Structures" at The Jewish Museum, New York. Courtesy of David Heald/The Jewish Museum

The Digital Shtetl

If the creative team of Rocket Chair Media is any indication, the Millennial Generation's approach to the Shoah will be something quite different from what’s come before. The prologue to their new digital epic fantasy “Radzyn” now begins online, with daily installations this week and monthly thereafter.

From “Radzyn.” Courtesy Rocket Chair Media

Out From Under

For thousands of years Jewish-Iranian women have been forced to hide behind chadors, look down at their feet and not speak unless spoken to.  During ancient Persia and even later day Iran, they lived with two strikes against them: Jewish and female.  They were and still are viewed and treated by Muslims as second class citizens.  Even today, in Iran, a woman, cannot become a judge, regardless of her education, degrees and professional qualifications.  The reason given: “A woman can never be just.”

Rita Jahan Farouz. Photo courtesy American Sephardi Federation

Talk Yiddish To Me

At a glance, hip hop and klezmer don't seem like a natural mix.  But you ain't seen nothing yet.

Anderson and the Postmodern Jukebox band perform "Talk Dirty"... klezmer style. Photo courtesy YouTube

A Sense Of Place

The large-scale photographs in Sharon Ya’ari’s first solo exhibit at the Andrea Meislin Gallery beg for explanation. Why, for instance, is there a smoky haze in the two images called “Rashi Street, Tel Aviv?”

Sharon Ya'ari, "Rashi Street, Tel Aviv," 2008. Courtesy of Andrea Meislin Gallery and Sommer Contemporary Art Gallery

Literature On The Lower East Side

Must Jewish literature written by a Jew? How about a book that focuses on a Jewish concern, or characters with a recognizably Jewish neurosis? Is contemporary Hebrew-language literature necessarily Jewish?

Jonathan Rosen, Tova Mirvis and Josh Lambert at the Museum at Eldridge Street.  Sharna Brzycki

Abstracting The Shoah

As Theodor Adorno famously said shortly after World War II, "To write poetry after Auschwitz is barbaric.” That challenge continues to confront artists who attempt to depict the Holocaust.

Charles Goldstein, “Le poids des ombres” (The weight of shadows). Mixed media on canvas. Courtesy of Agora Gallery
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