Retrieving and reconstructing the memory of the Holocaust is a difficult task. The past seems especially unreachable in this matter, its image is still eluding our expectations. There are always no means by which we could talk about the horror of the Holocaust. All we are left with, is writing outlines, documenting the remains, hearing the witnesses, reconstructing the memory.
Presented in Kordegarda Gallery films, drawings and installations, variously referring to the problem of the Holocaust trails are such attempts to gather and understand the fragments of the past. The main point of the exhibition and also the most meaningful archeological artifact on the exhibition is a corroded, dug up on the former ghetto area cafe table as well as accompanying it dug up pieces of other objects. They are the relics and the direct witnesses to the Holocaust. They are a symbolic marks on the memory of the city map.
We can see precisely how the fragments of the past are extracted from the ground in a 1967 film “Archeology” by Andrzej Brzozowski. This moving sequence of images shows the archeological works conducted on the former area of Auschwitz-Birkenau extermination camp. On the excavation site, men are quietly working in concentration. When they are turning the objects in their hands, we can precisely see a Soviet star from a military hat, a Dutch ceramic beer cork, some pencils. After a while, the camera changes the angle. We can see a scenery with barbet wire in the background. Only then, we are able to recognize the exact location of the excavation site.
A never executed project of a monument “a Road”, prepared in 1955 by a team led by Oskar Hansen is in reference to the problem of the space marked with the Holocaust. The artists’ concept places the area of the former camp into the structure of a monument in a very unique way. The eponymous road runs diagonally through the area of the concentration camp, keeping the buildings as they are and making them steeped in history. The closed entrance gate does not allow us to enter the designated road. The buildings on both sides of it were supposed to be gradually destroyed by Nature.
The exhibition is open only till Sunday, 28/04/2013.