Art After Auschwitz

Spring 2019 Answer TWO of the following essay questions. For each, write an essay based on class discussions, power-point presentations, readings and lectures. Citing your sources, take a distinct interpretive position supported by AT LEAST THREE specific examples from works of art you have seen over the course of the semester. Your thoughts should be presented in a clear and organized manner. You do not need to make a full interpretive or analytical case in support of your position, but rather present the case and then give very specific instances of the interpretation and analysis that would be needed if the position were to be argued fully. Use double spaced, 12 point font, cite your sources. You can refer to works not seen in class but you must give reproductions and captions. # 1. In the past two decades, the counter-monument has emerged as an important form of Holocaust commemoration. What is a counter-monument? And what is its relevance? What are some of the advantages of the counter-monument? Does it reinvigorate public and professional interest in the past? What are some of the serious disadvantages of and problems with the counter-monument? Has it developed its own conventions? Will it have longevity? Will the counter-monument continue to be relevant in the future, to the next generation commemorating the Holocaust? Support your position with at least three monuments. # 2. Photography has been used in Holocaust representations in two ways: as evidential document and as emphatic marker, in order to establish or prove objective, historical fact and in order to personalize the victims and provoke an emotional response. But photography can also distort the historical record; it can re-victimize the victims and lead to pathos or sentimentality. How have contemporary artists used and questioned the medium of photography in their work? # 3. Eva Hoffman writes: “We who came after do not have memories of the Holocaust.” How does “one remember what one never knew”? Discuss the concept of Post-memory and how it is deployed in at least three examples of contemporary art. # 4. Terrence des Pres writes of a “Holocaust etiquette” or Holocaust decorum. Elie Wiesel believes that “The Holocaust is not a subject like all others. It imposes certain limits.” Yet contemporary artists have repeatedly turned to comedy, irony, satire and “play” to represent the Holocaust in work that is extremely controversial. Describe at least three works in which the Holocaust appears desacralized and analyze how and why. # 4. In 2001, the exhibition Mirroring Evil opened at the Jewish Museum in NYC. Instead of focusing on imagery of the victims of the Holocaust, it represented Nazi imagery and taboo fascist symbols. It “played with the Holocaust” in ways that many criticized as desacralizing and trivializing. The museum saw the show as a “springboard for dialogue about the complicity and complacency toward evil in today’s society.” What do you think and why? Do these contemporary works respect the “limits of representation”? Referring to at least three examples,explain your position.

Sample Solution

ACED ESSAYS