Diehl CUBE is pleased to announce Unnamed, an installation by Jewish-American artist Elana Katz, and an Artist Talk entitled Spaced Memory,
at the closing of the show.
In Unnamed, Elana Katz works with a collection of gravestones that were discarded at a local Berlin cemetery. The stones are from an area of the cemetery dedicated to “victims” from the World War II period: the men and women were German soldiers, police officers,
air force officers, prisoners of war, and civilians.
These stones personalize The German of the Nazi period, a figure that, in the artist’s social conditioning as an American and particularly as a Jew, has been highly dehumanized. Katz confronts and works with these stones that name the nameless enemy. Unnamed thus pertains to humanization of the demonized, as well as the topics of concealment, protection, erasure, and memory.
Subsequent to the artist finding and collecting the discarded gravestones, it was brought to the cemetery administration’s attention that Katz had the stones in her possession. She was obligated to return the stones, as they were scheduled for liquidation by the cemetery administration. This installation thus presents the artist’s parting action with the stones before they were sent to be destroyed by cemetery authorities.
On November 12th, Diehl CUBE will hold a special event entitled Spaced Memory, in which Elana Katz presents a related project concerning places of Jewish history in Eastern Europe that no longer exist. Katz’s ongoing work examines sites that have been overwritten and forgotten in Romania and Serbia, addressing and questioning the topics of post-memory, absence, and perception at locations of historical obliteration. This talk will serve to introduce the work’s concept, its historical and contemporary significance, and will thus contemplate the role of the arts in stimulating awareness and thought within complex historical discourse.