The island of Djerba, in southern Tunisia, is home to one of the oldest and most famous synagogues in the world, the Ghriba. The community around this synagogue, whose existence is accounted for since the Middle Ages, was documented by Jacques Pérez in 1979-1980, in a series of colorful photographs that illustrate their ancestral traditions.
The mahJ is showing The Parade, the series of drawings created by Si Lewen (1918–2016) in 1950. Although this Polish-born American artist was a prominent figure in American post-war art, he is still little known in Europe. The recurrent theme in his work is the inexpressible horror of the Holocaust.
Echoing the "Chagall, Modigliani, Soutine… Paris pour école, 1905-1940" exhibition, the mahJ is paying tribute to Hersh Fenster (Baranów, 1892–Paris, 1964), the journalist, Yiddish writer and author of Undzere farpaynikte kinstler (Our Martyred Artists), published in Paris in 1951. Both a memorial and an art book, it retraces the lives and work of 84 Jewish artists living in France who died between 1940 and 1945, about whom Fenster compiled testimonies and photographs over a five-year period. Some, like Chaïm Soutine and Otto Freundlich, are well known, others, such as Étienne Farkas and Jacob Macznik, less. Yet all played their part in the final years of what the critic André Warnod dubbed in 1925 the “School of Paris”. Painters, sculptors, illustrators, men and women, their work was brought to a premature end and sometimes destroyed.
From Saturday 3 October 2020, to Sunday 12 September 2021
At the mahJ and for the first time in a French museum, Maya Zack shows a trilogy of films made over a decade. Comprising Mother Economy (2007), Black and White Rule (2011) and Counterlight (2016-2017), this series is the result of a long period of research and creation, formalised in a language combining drawing, sculpture and video. Recurrent figures in this trilogy are women dialoguing with the past and giving it substance. As the last survivors of the Holocaust are disappearing, the artist questions the risk of forgetting and the processes of memory.