chronological | Artists |

Sol LeWitt

Lost Voices

13.3. 29.5.2005
It finally becomes clear that these sounds must be coming from the closed off area beyond the wall. They penetrate through the narrow strip that remains between the upper edge of the wall and the synagogue ceiling, reaching our ears in a roundabout way from above. Behind the wall is the thora shrine and thus the actual center of the former house of worship. This is where ceremonial acts once took place before the synagogue was desecrated by a strange stroke of fate, i.e. was degraded to a barn and stall and in this way was able to survive the Nazi terror regime. It was finally classified as a national monument, and since 1990/91 it has served as a place for international art presentations. Sol LeWitt’s intervention in the space and its sonication initially seem to suggest a part of the old Jewish congregational life, as if the celebration of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur could once again be observed in a symbolic form inscribed in art, as if the most important holidays in the Jewish calendar should once again be commemorated. Yet at the same time one becomes aware of the fact that those who are singing are not really physically present, that these are sounds originating from loudspeakers located behind the brick barrier, and that in retrospect, this kind of acoustic “reactivation” must always remain an artificially staged and at the same time fragmented one. Those who once filled this place with religious life are no longer there, and that which they once represented as an element of what was once a vivacious Jewish culture in Stommeln can only emerge out of the distance within the framework of memory fragments in the present. Today the synagogue is a place of art; religious services no longer take place here, and yet the history of this place of worship, the genius loci, seem to almost automatically influence the artists who exhibit here and the decisions they make. If one listens to the sounds selected by Sol LeWitt, it becomes obvious that these are not historical recordings from a past era, rather they are contemporary recordings of Jewish liturgical hymns. At this point we again become conscious that what is at issue here is not a historical objectification or even a romantic reactivation of past events in and around Stommeln.

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Diashow (3 Pictures)

Synagogue Stommeln, Sol LeWitt, Installation View

Installation View

Synagogue Stommeln, Sol LeWitt, Installation View

Installation View