Welcome to the Web catalog of Lublin Storehouse by Ulrike Grossarth
Jaakow Jizchak Horowitz, the Seer of Lublin an eighteenth-century zaddik prophesized during a journey through the forest of Lublin by horse-drawn carriage, that “…the entire revealed and hidden teachings together with the settling down of the Shekhinah will once be present here.”
In the exhibition Lublin Storehouse, Ulrike Grossarth works with motifs from her archive gathered during her stays in Lublin (Poland) and its surroundings over the past ten years. These motifs are elements from Central Eastern Europe, a region that underwent fundamental changes under the violent regimes of the 20th century and that is threatened by nationalist tendencies again today. This material is juxtaposed with a West European “cultural preserve”: the Encyclopédie by Diderot & D’Alembert (Paris 1751). In this way, a milieu is created where categories are multiplied and unconscious, unresolved and still powerful details of historical events may appear.
Methodological Research via Travel Projects in Eastern Europe
For many years, in my class at the Dresden Academy of Fine Arts, we have been working on a method of empirically extending artistic themes, expanding them toward central themes that are of general relevance in order to develop a lively concept of culture. In this context we read the work of Emmanuel Levinas and reflected on his differentiation between Greek and Hebrew thinking, in which he elaborates fundamental new approaches to another ethics.
Meanwhile, the traditional Jewish exegesis based on the Talmud has become an integral part of our work. That is, the training and cultivation of a paradoxical way of thinking that remains present in layers that are continually superimposing on each other in different ways through a constant reinterpretation of the Torah. In the last few years we have complemented these topics by intensive studies of Hasidic tradition. Of course this interest must also be viewed against the backdrop of Jewish culture since the Shoah. Since 2003 we have traveled to locations, in particular in Poland and Ukraine, that relate in various ways to this nexus of topics. On the eight- to ten-day excursions, the goal was to continually carry out courses of action in a highly concentrated form, and thereby to consider everything, the excursion itself, the discussions and individual actions, from a formal point of view, and to purposefully put this into confrontation with the historical forms and “cultural preserves” of the respective geographic areas. Our question was: under what conditions do procedural structures emerge that might be valuable or meaningful in other ways? Our topics included, among others: identity in progress, work“lessness,” paradoxes, circular systems, and the playful gestures of the political. My own works, which I have called the Lubliner Projekte (Lublin Projects), also developed out of these contexts.