It is no accident that this 1st entry is being produced on the day prior to me going to the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. I have been reading extensively for the last 2-3 years on aspects of the holocaust, and have made it clear elsewhere, that the holocaust is one of the three major reasons that motivate my arts practice. That reading has been an attempt to prepare me mentally and emotionally to go to the scenes where the ‘extermination’ of large numbers of fellow human beings took place. How foolish I was to consider that I could prepare for such a visit.
I do however, consider that after 15-20 years of preparation, (developing aspects of my creative voice) my career as an artist will start in earnest tomorrow…
As I sit upright in bed, in a comfortable hotel room, typing these words 63 years after the camps were ‘liberated’, I know that when I go there tomorrow, my naïve optimistic outlook will receive a crushing blow. I hold ‘humanistic’ views, I believe in the dignity of being a human, but my belief in the intrinsic equality of each human life will take a ‘hammering’ tomorrow.
I do hope that after that blow, and the many others I will receive over the next years, I will have the courage and belief to stand against intolerance in all its forms.
I have a lot of knowledge about ‘the subject’, I have visited Daniel Liebeskind’s Jewish Museum and Peter Eisenman’s Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe in Berlin – solid and stunning statements, I have privately and publicly shed tears. But tomorrow…?
Sunday 29th June 2008
Location: Hotel Caroline Mathilde, Celle, Germany
Originally posted: June 29th, 2008 | fine art practice, journal_ianf