Fairfield University Art Museum and the Humanities Institute Present New Exhibition, Ghosts: French Holocaust Children

Fairfield University Art Museum and the Humanities Institute Present New Exhibition, Ghosts: French Holocaust Children, Jan. 24

Photographic work by Hirsch Projects.

Photographic work by Hirsch Projects.

An installation of sculptural and photographic work by Hirsch Projects, Ghosts: French Holocaust Children, can be viewed January 24 through March 2 in the museum’s Walsh Gallery at the Quick Center for the Arts, with an opening reception scheduled for Wednesday, January 23 from 5:30 - 7 p.m.

During World War II, more than 11,000 Jewish children were deported from France to Nazi death camps. These children were among the 75,000+ French Jews deported under the Nazi plan for the “Final Solution to the Jewish Question.” Of the French Jews transported, only 2,564 survived the Shoah. At most, 300 of these Jewish children survived.

Ghosts: French Holocaust Children is a three-dimensional installation of sculptural and photographic work, which acts as an ethereal commemoration to these children’s abbreviated lives. The project was created based on documents and photographs collected by author, lawyer, and Nazi-hunter Serge Klarsfeld, which have been reinterpreted and presented in the form of three 1/5-scale boxcars containing over 600 expressionistic portraits of the deported children, plus a series of mural-sized individual portraits.

Ghosts’ post-documentary approach transforms archival material by blending outer and inner realities to construct a historic media narrative that examines the extreme boundaries of human behavior regarding anti-Semitism, identity, loss, memory, and racism, conveying a haunting sense of lost human possibilities.

The project further explores the space between art and history from the position that all accounts of historic events are personal constructions. It makes a case that contemplative picturemaking can imagine the unimaginable. This encourages viewers to foster different ways of understanding the Holocaust (genocide) that cannot be achieved through traditional documentary photography, encouraging both critical thinking and empathy.

This Hirsch Projects exhibition is the result of collaboration between Robert Hirsch, Bob Collignon, Richard Schulenberg, Anne Muntges, and Serge Klarsfeld.

Robert Hirsch is an artist, curator, and author of Transformational Imagemaking: Handmade Photography Since 1960; Seizing the Light: A Social History of Photography; Light and Lens: Photography in the Digital Age; Photographic Possibilities: The Expressive Use of Equipment, Ideas, Materials, and Processes; and Exploring Color Photography: From Film to Pixels.

Hirsch has published scores of articles about visual culture and has interviewed numerous eminent imagemakers. Hirsch was associate editor for Photovision and Digital Camera magazines, and a contributing writer for Afterimage, exposure, The History of Photography, LightWork, The Photo Review, Photo Technique, and World Book Encyclopedia among others.

Hirsch’s work has been exhibited in over 200 solo and group shows. His projects include: Manifest Destiny & The American West; Unseen Terror: The Bomb, Other Bogeymen, and a Culture of Fear; Shining Brow: Frank Lloyd Wright; The Sky is Falling – Seeing Ghosts: 911; and The Sixties Cubed: A Counter Culture of Images. His installation, World in a Jar: War and Trauma, has traveled to more than a dozen venues around the world and is now in the Burchfield-Penney Art Center Collection in Buffalo, N.Y. A past executive director of CEPA Gallery, Hirsch currently operates Light Research, a consulting service that provides professional services to the fields of photographic art and education.

In conjunction with this exhibition, the Samuel and Bettie Roberts Lecture in Jewish Art will be a public talk with the artist on Wednesday, February 6 at 7:30 p.m. Entitled “Ghosts: An Artistic Meditation on the Holocaust and Anti-Semitism,” Hirsch will speak in the Dolan School of Business Dining Room. The lecture is sponsored by the Bennett Center for Judaic Studies through the generosity of the Roberts Memorial Endowment Fund.

The Fairfield University Art Museum is free and open to the public. Opening hours for the Walsh Gallery are Wednesday through Saturday, 12 noon – 4 p.m., when the University is in session. 

For more information and directions consult the museum’s website: fairfield.edu/museum.

Opening Reception: Ghosts: French Holocaust Children

Date: Wed, January 23, 2019
Time: 6 p.m.

Walsh Gallery, Quick Center for the Arts
200 Barlow Road
Fairfield, CT 06824

Additional Details:

Join us for the reception on the opening evening of the exhibition, Ghosts: French Holocaust Children, on Wednesday, January 23rd, from 6-7:30 p.m. in the Walsh Gallery at the Quick Center for the Performing Arts.

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