Photography and the Holocaust: Then and Now
Opening reception on Friday, January 19, 2024 from 5:00 – 8:00 PM.
From January through May 2024, CEPA Gallery will present Photography and the Holocaust: Then & Now, a comprehensive exhibition and community outreach project that questions the notion of truth in photography and examines the ways in which historic and contemporary photo-based imagery is used to shape cultural narratives and (re)write history.
The Holocaust, Shoah, or Hitler’s Final Solution to the Jewish Question, was the first mass genocide to be simultaneously photographed by perpetrators, bystanders, resistors, and victims. History is left with a unique visual inventory of competing narratives and memories that curator and historian Robert Hirsch has been investigating for years.
With an emphasis on prejudice and transgenerational trauma, Hirsch has assembled a diverse roster of internationally respected artists whose work juxtaposes and interacts with archival material to create new imagery that delves into the complexities of time and space, place and memory, nature, and the devastation of civilized society.
Photography and the Holocaust: Then & Now will call attention to antisemitism as the underlying hate fueling incidents of terror across the U.S. and on Buffalo’s own streets with intentional outreach and an array of coordinating activities. This multifaceted project will include gallery exhibitions at CEPA and Mirabo Press, public art, youth and adult workshops, discussion groups, speakers, and numerous community partners. It will be accompanied by a 100-page, full-color, illustrated catalog, which expands upon project themes with essays by Holocaust scholars, cultural critics, and the artists themselves.
CEPA’s objective is to bridge those growing divides that threaten our future with programming that inspires a cross-generation dialogue and creates a forum for artists and individuals of diverse lived experiences and cultural, ethnic, and social identities to come together and learn from one another with the intent of pushing back on hatred and racism.