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Archive for the 'Random Musings' Category

Attempts to Enter History: Bending the Rules of Time in Rachel Marker’s Spaces of Memory

A recent visitor to the world of Rachel Marker could not help but muse about the redemptive effect of “playing history like a great orchestra (rather than as a clock), which is what I think Rachel Marker has done.” By Lisa Wurtele Earlier in June, Andy Shanken, an architectural historian at U.C. Berkeley, visited the [...]

Seeing the Same Sky Through the Remnants of Different Bombed-out Buildings

By Lisa Wurtele Rachel Marker’s experiences of—and reactions to—20th-century European wars and their aftermath continue to impact those who join her on her journey through the smoke and violence of war, surviving (as Rose Hacker said of herself) “…to explore new possibilities.” A recent visitor to The Magnes was struck by the similarities to his [...]

A mysterious correspondent reports on a visit to Père Lachaise, the Mute Players, and Act-Up

By Lisa Wurtele Not all those who have spent time with Rachel Marker have connected with her through the portal of the physical exhibition at The Magnes. Rachel has also had a deep impact on those who have entered her world by crossing time and place. The letters shared below were sent from several continents [...]

Griselda Pollock Enters Rachel Marker’s World

By Lisa Wurtele World-renowned art historian and cultural analyst Griselda Pollock visited the exhibition last month and was inspired to write about her impressions in a letter, which she addressed to Rachel Marker: Griselda Pollock penning her letter to Rachel Marker in the gallery. Photo: Moira Roth 19 March 2013 Dear Rachel Marker, I have [...]

Drawing us into Rachel Marker’s world with images

What goes into the staging of an exhibition–especially one like Through the Eyes of Rachel Marker? By Lisa Wurtele Let’s peek behind the scenes into the search for images to enhance the visitor’s understanding of Rachel Marker’s world. “Moira and Alla knew they wanted a textural and contextual backdrop – a progression of stills and [...]

Entering the World of Rachel Marker

Last month, many of our exhibition visitors were moved to sit down at this desk in the gallery and pen a message to Rachel Marker. Here is one of them: February 5, 2013 Tuesday, Berkeley, CA cold, gray, 53° Dearest Rachel, I am so inspired by your letters to Kafka—the ways in which you weave your own [...]

Rachel Marker Project #1: Moira Roth on Alice Herz-Sommer

In conjunction with the upcoming exhibition at The Magnes, writer and art historian Moira Roth will post a series of texts from the ongoing narrative about her fictional character Rachel Marker. The first post is dedicated to Alice Herz-Sommer, one of the inspirations for the Rachel Marker narrative. A Prague-born Jew now living in London, a renowned [...]

Alice Herz-Sommer turns 109 today

Alice Herz-Sommer, a Czech Jew, a pianist, and a survivor of Terezin Concentration Camp, is one of the inspirations for the upcoming installation by Moira Roth at The Magnes: Through the Eyes of Rachel Marker, opening January 22. She is the subject of A Garden of Eden in Hell: The Life of Alice Herz-Sommer (Macmillan, [...]

One Internship, Ten Spice Containers

By Ekaterina Kalashnikova Graduate Student in Cultural Anthropology, Oulu University, Finland As a student of Cultural Anthropology at Oulu University in Finland, I am delighted to have had the opportunity to carry out an Internship at The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life this Fall. It was very exciting for me to experience first-hand [...]

The Ever-Lasting Presence of the Magnes

Written by David Puyandayev, Kohn Intern, Summer 2011 During my two weeks of staying in New Jersey, I enjoyed delicious kosher food and engaged in intense philosophical discourse. I also had been thinking about the Magnes. Why, in this intellectual and unfortunately humid paradise of Princeton, did the Magnes ever come to mind? It was [...]