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Tom Johansmeyer

Tom Johansmeyer

Posted: November 12, 2010 11:12 AM

Ahron Weiner has brought a stunning artistic creation to the Stanton Street Shul on the Lower East Side. Memorial Wall consists of 60 individual photographs spanning 35 feet. The exhibition takes us on a sometimes jarring walk through Jewish history, as Weiner focuses on "former Jewish sites" across Eastern Europe.

"Memorial Wall is a monument to our collective loss," said Weiner. "Growing up with grandparents who survived Mathausen and Auschwitz, I was very familiar with the history. When I started to travel Eastern Europe and witnessed countless towns with the skeletal infrastructure of empty synagogues, abandoned graveyards and a complete absence of Jews, the history came alive in a darkly visceral way. I witnessed these places decaying before my eyes, and wanted to capture a record, both to preserve their memory, and to help preserve my own. To create a body of work that grounds history in the present, and add to a canon that refutes the pernicious spread of revisionist history."

Maurice Sendak writes in his introduction to the exhibition:

Ahron Weiner, camera in hand, has returned to a different Europe, a detail in the large panorama shot of the last century. And not only Europe; Ahron has traveled, widely, in a detail of a detail, in Central and Eastern Europe, a stretch of life bounded by Thereinsenstadt in the West and Majdanek and Sobibor in the East: concentration camps, the horrific last images preserved in the minds of many of the dead.

Watch an interview with artist Ahron Weiner below:

Welcome to Memorial Wall by Ahron Weiner
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I attended the opening of Memorial Wall, a stunning display of photographic art by fine art and documentary photographer Ahron D. Weiner. Showing at the Stanton Street Shul on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, the 35-foot installation consists of 60 separate photos that, according to Weiner, provide contemporary perspective on former Jewish sites across Eastern Europe
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