Robert Hirsch, Chief Curator and Producer
Ruby Merritt, Assistant Curator and Project Manager
CEPA Gallery opening reception on Saturday, January 20, 2024 from 5:00 – 8:00 PM.
Mirabo Press opening reception on Thursday, January 25, 2024 from 6:00 – 9:00 PM.
Western New York Book Arts Center exhibition opens Thursday, January 25. Exhibition reception on Thursday, February 15, 2024.
Screening of: Spectre of Memory by Claudia Kunin & Refugee Lullaby by Ronit Kertsner at Journey’s End Refugee Services on April 11th, 2024 at 7 PM.
The Holocaust 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.
The Power of Resilience and Hope – Photography & the Holocaust: Then and Now will feature 30 contemporary, regional, and international artists and writers whose works juxtapose and interact 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. A 100+ page catalog accompanies the project.
The show aims to bridge growing divides that threaten our future with programming that inspires a cross-generational dialogue and creates a forum for artists and individuals of diverse lived experiences to come together and learn from one another with the intent of pushing back on hatred and racism. Community programming, public art, youth and adult workshops, discussion groups, and speakers will allow individuals to engage with the past as a way to inform the present and future. Community partners of the exhibition include the Holocaust Education Resource Organization (HERO), the Jewish Community Center of Greater Buffalo, UB’s Department of Jewish Thought, the Clean Air Coalition of Western New York, Mirabo Press, Western New York Book Arts Collaborative, and Journey’s End Refugee Services.
The exhibition has been in planning for many years, long before the current events began to unfold, and is intended to reject hate and promote understanding and empathy among all groups of people. With art’s ability to foster dialogue, CEPA is inviting the community to engage with the exhibition and reflect on the experiences of everyday individuals caught in the crossfire of hatred. CEPA and its partners stand against all forms of racism and violence.
Curator Robert Hirsch says: “Optimistically, this project makes a case why critically examining history is necessary to acknowledge how hate and trauma can be transmitted from generation to generation. In turn, this opens the possibility of applying the Jewish concept of Tikkun Olam – repairing a broken but beautiful world – to encourage acceptance, inclusion, and cooperation with Others who are different from the majority.”
The exhibition is made possible through generous support from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), The Joy of Giving Something Foundation, Erie County Cultural Funding, the Golden and Goldman Philanthropic Fund, and numerous business and private sponsors. CEPA is supported by the New York State Council on the Arts.
Part one of the exhibition will open on January 20, 2024, from 5:00 to 8:00 PM at CEPA Gallery. A satellite exhibition will open at Mirabo Press on Thursday January 25, 2024, from 6:00 to 9:00 PM. Part two of the exhibition will open on March 23, 2024, from 5:00 to 8:00 PM at CEPA Gallery. Additionally, It will be on view at Western New York Book Arts Collaborative from January 25—March 16, 2024 with a Project Celebration on Thursday, February 15, 2024 from 5—8 PM.
Download the full press release here.