no one leaves home unless:
Berlin exiles 1938-1940
works on paper by Emily Hass
Opening Reception and Artist Talk
Thursday, March 30, 2017 at 6pm
curated by Jeanne Heifetz
From the Artist:
For the last decade, my artwork has used architectural records of Berlin buildings where Jews and persecuted artists lived in the 1930s. Through architecture, the work is concerned with identity, place, and a culture’s loss both of individual citizens and of its creative tradition. I use the records to illuminate an obscured history, and make visible the Berlin homes - and lives - that were abandoned under duress. I work primarily in gouache and ink on vintage, sometimes damaged, paper that echoes the archival files that provide my source material.
I began this body of work with the plans of my father’s childhood home, where he lived until 1938, when he and his immediate family fled to London. I have since based work on the homes of many other Jews and persecuted intellectuals, including Lion and Marta Feuchtwanger; Else Ury, Kurt Weill; Walter Benjamin; Lyonel Feininger and Ruth Vollmer. I return to Berlin at least once a year to do archival research as I document the profound cultural loss Berlin experienced as a result of the purges orchestrated by the Third Reich.
Since I began this project, and in a way my father’s generation could never have foreseen, Berlin has been transformed from a departure point into a destination for exiles fleeing conflict in Syria and elsewhere. In response, I have begun studying the homes left behind by refugees coming to Berlin. I will return to Berlin in April to conduct in-depth conversations and gather images and drawings of the homes the refugees left, which will become the source material for a new body of work.
About the Artist:
Emily Hass (New York, NY) has been awarded grants from the New York Foundation for the Arts, the McCloy Fellowship in Art, and residencies at the Dora Maar House, the MacDowell Colony, and the Josef and Anni Albers Foundation. Selections from her series Altonaer Strasse were included in the 2011 Heimatkunde exhibition at the Jewish Museum Berlin and are now part of the museum’s permanent collection. Her work has been reviewed in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, seen in the New York Times and featured in Der Tagesspiegel. Emily has graduate degrees in psychology and design from Harvard University, and is currently a Research Affiliate at MIT’s Urban Studies and Planning Department.
The artist would like to acknowledge the generosity of the American Council on Germany, the Josef and Anni Albers Foundation, the Millay Colony for the Arts, the MacDowell Colony, and the New York Foundation for the Arts.
About the Curator:
Jeanne Heifetz is a Brooklyn-based artist and curator. She holds degrees from Harvard University and New York University, was formerly an arts writer for the Jewish Daily Forward, and is also the author of When Blue Meant Yellow: How Colors Got Their Names. www.jeanneheifetz.com
The exhibition title, no one leaves home unless, comes from “Home” by the Somali-British poet Warsan Shire, which has become a rallying cry for those who work to help alleviate the suffering of today’s refugees.