Rudi Weissenstein – Exile and Photography
Visual Arts

Rudi Weissenstein – Exile and Photography

Rudi Weissenstein (1910 Iglau, Bohemia - 1992 Tel Aviv) was one of the largest photographers of Israel. The exhibition is of works which mostly have never been shown

Rudi Weissenstein (1910 Iglau, Bohemia - 1992 Tel Aviv) was one of the largest photographers of Israel. He documented the everyday life of the Jewish state under construction; The dream of a homeland was his big topic.
Behind his optimistic images lie the complex psychology and ambivalent emotions of the exiles. Weissenstein's works deal with the themes of hope, construction and identity. Driven and marked by the loss of his old homeland, his pictures reveal the role of identity in the creation of a new society. Here individual experiences as well as social memory play an essential role. His example from Palestine shows just how diverse the exile conditions were for photographers from Germany. Like many others, Rudi Weissenstein had to laboriously build up his existence with his shop Pri Or (Hebrew: photo house) in which he sold tourists, beach or footage of soldiers.
A similar path went through the photo artist Ellen Auerbach (1906 Karlsruhe - 2004 New York City), who emigrated three years earlier, 1933, and with her friend Liselotte Grschebina in Tel Aviv under the name Ishon (Hebrew: eyeball pupil) a small studio for She founded children's portraits before continuing her life journey to London and New York. Thanks to loans from the Berlin Academy of Arts, Ellen Auerbach's works are also included in the exhibition in order to deepen the theme of exile and photography.
The exhibition also features works by the artist Christian Boltanski (* 1944 - lives in Paris). Boltanski's paved photo wall "The Jewish School" (from the portfolio "The Frozen Leopard" II, 1992), for example, reminds of the forgotten, who, like Siegfried Kracauer, put it "buried under a blanket of snow".
The exhibition of works by Weissenstein, which have been mostly never shown, not only examines the art-historical characteristics of Weissenstein's photographic art in collaboration with works by his contemporary Ellen Auerbach, but through the connection with Christian Boltanski's works he deepens and visualizes the great theme of memory - both of his own and his own also the collective.

Date and time

Oct 04, 2023
12:00 AM (UTC+0)

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