Well Versed

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

Prayer Songs

When I was younger, I strived to emulate my two older brothers. I did so in many ways, but I particularly wanted to mimic their passion for playing an instrument. Others told me that I was too young and should wait a year or two to begin. Then Rebecca Teplow took one look at my fingers, after her piano lesson with my eldest brother, and told me that now was a perfect time to begin. I was thrilled.

Rebecca Teplow. Photo courtesy Hoebermann Studio

From Nachlaot To New York

Rav Raz Hartman is usually found in a crowded shul in Jerusalem’s Nachlaot neighborhood, reached by a steep staircase. His shul fuses music and mysticism, attracting Jews across the denominational and sartorial spectrum. A Jerusalem hipster may be swaying next to someone dressed in a flowing white robe.

Rav Raz Hartman at Mechon Hadar. Courtesy of Mechon Hadar

When A Paranormal Romance Meets Holocaust Literature

Just when you think every possible angle of the Holocaust has been explored in literature, ad infinitum, along comes “The Color of Light” (Stony Creek Press) by Helen Maryles Shankman, a tale of art school, the Holocaust, and yes—vampires.

Via helenmarylesshankman.com
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