Adam, where are you?

Screenschot aus Video mit Ilana Lewitan

As part of the festive year #2021 Jewish Life in Germany, the installation "Adam, where are you?" by artist Ilana Lewitan has been created. In Berlin, the art show can be seen in the Parochialkirche. As a cooperation partner, the House of One itself will help shape the exhibition's educational outreach program.

When? Oktober 11 to November 14, 2021, Tuesdays to Sundays from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Where? Parochialkirche, Klosterstraße 67 in 10179 Berlin-Mitte

Admission is free. Covid-rule applies: vaccinated, recovered or tested.

 

 

The keynote speech at the opening in Berlin (Sunday, October 10) was given by Bundestag President Wolfgang Schäuble. The devout Christian spoke about the meaning of the biblical words "Adam, where are you?" as well as "Cain, where is your brother?". Schäuble also posed the question of how the Shoah could have happened. "What happened remains inconceivable," the 79-year-old said. "The older I get, the longer I think about it, the more inconceivable it becomes for me." Schäuble also spoke about anti-Semitism and that he had long believed there was no longer any room for that in Germany. "We are seeing the opposite right now," he said. Prejudices and stereotypes are increasing instead of disappearing, he said.  "Anti-Semitism is unacceptable and particularly shameful against the background of our history."

 

 

Who shows civil courage against anti-Semitism?

 

The installation consists of various stations that visitors walk through. The starting point is Ilana Levitan's provocative question, "Imagine if Jesus had lived in 1938 during the Nazi era. What would have happened to him?" With this question, the artist invites visitors on a journey through her expansive installation. Starting point is a fictitious arrest warrant from the Third Reich: The Jew Jehoshua Israel ben Joseph, born on December 24, 1908 in Bethlehem/Nazareth, a stateless itinerant preacher, is wanted. His behavior endangered the existence and security of the people; if he were left at large, he would continue his anti-state activities.

Jesus here is not a founder of a religion, not a scribe. He is a Jew and thus fixed to a role that defines how he is dealt with. What does self-chosen identity mean? And what identity is assigned to someone from the outside? Ilana Lewitan points out commonalities and fractures between the familiar and the foreign, between nationals and foreigners, between migrants and natives, between the privileged and the disadvantaged.

 

"People were and are expelled, banished, destroyed because of their identity. For me, this exhibition is about existential questions: Am I free to determine my identity myself, or is it imposed on me? Do people act in solidarity when someone is marginalized and persecuted? Who shows civil courage when basic rights are violated? These issues are central to me as the daughter of Shoah survivors and as an artist. People, as well as art, have a right to free expression."

Ilana Lewitan in an interview with Stephan-Andreas Casdorff, Editor of Berlin's Daily "Der Tagesspiegel"

 

Corinna Zisselsberger, pastor of the parish St.Petri-St.Marien, which is a founding member of the House of One, addressed the past of the exhibition site, the Parochial church, during the Nazi era. The pastor of the Church, like many clergy in Berlin's city center during that time, was a staunch supporter of Hitler and an anti-Semite. "We cannot undo the guilt," Zisselsberger said. "It is therefore of great concern to us to fight with all our strength against anti-Semitism today."  Looking the other way is not an option, he said. Jesus lived as a Jew and died as a Jew.

 

House of One's offer for school classes

 

For Tuesday, November 2, and Wednesday, November 3, both at 11 a.m., school classes can register for an exploration of the exhibition with Jewish, Muslim and Christian representatives of the House of One. From the perspective of different religions, cultures and traditions, topics such as memory, minority identity and freedom will be explored together.

Please register at berlin@ilana-lewitan.de .

 

More information to the exhibition and the artist

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