The art project at Stommeln Synagogue, initiated in 1991, was subject to a review in 2011 that sought to position it after two decades of art shows.
Attendees of the one-day symposium, convened at Martinushaus in Stommeln, discussed the relationship of art, site, and history, and compared Stommeln Synagogue with other art venues of similar historical characteristics.
Places like Stommeln Synagogue, Haus der Kunst in Muhich, or the German Pavilion at Venice Biennale that was revamped by the Nazis, are not simply “white cubes,” but create rather special conditions for art shows. The “Art – Site – History” symposium focused on the question as to what form the interaction between art and site takes under such conditions. How do artists and exhibition organisers handle spaces so charged with history? Do specific, historically defined parameters come into play that influence or motivate both the art production and the exhibition practice?
The trauma of the Shoah and its continued reflection in art took centre stage at the conference, but at the same time the idea was also to address certain other issues: In what ways can interaction with the past engage the ongoing art discourse?