Exhibition and Performances in Bergen
Mon 5th – Mon 12th Sept. 2022 (not 7th Sept),
15:00-18:00 CM7, Christian Michelsens gate 7, Bergen
Tue 6th Sept.
13:00-14:00 Bergen Public Library, inside main entrance
Wedn 7th Sept.
19:00-20:00 Storetveit kirke, Kirkevegen 27 with an extended program
Fri 9th Sept.
12:00-13:00 Knut Knaus Auditorium, Faculty of Fine Art, Music, and Design, Møllendalsveien 61
Sat 10th Sept.
12:00-13:00 Tårnsalen, University Museum of Bergen (Natural History)
Sun 11th Sept.
12:00-13:00 Bergen Railway Station
Book of Remembrance is a performative bookwork and exhibition created by Imi Maufe and Hilde Kramer for the Artistic Research Project Illuminating the Non-Representable at the Faculty of Art, Music and Design, University of Bergen. This artistic work illustrates and references an event that took place in the Litzmannstadt Ghetto in the Polish city of Łódź between the 5th and 12th of September 1942, commonly known as the Wielka Szpera (General Curfew).
The ghetto’s head of Jewish Council of Elders, Chaim Mordechai Rumkowski, held a public meeting on the 4th of September on the order of the chief of German Nazi administration of the Litzmannstadt Ghetto, Hans Biebow. In the speech that has later been called Give me your children he urged the inhabitants to volunteer their children and elders for deportation. This sacrifice was to allow for a better future for the ghetto, he augmented. Litzmannstadt ghetto was in effect a forced labour camp producing products for the German war effort. Children, and the old and weak were seen as a burden to the ghetto society confined within the overcrowded, barbed-wire sectioned-off quarter of the city of Łódź.
During Wielka Szpera, a documented 15,681 children under 10 and the elderly over 65, were deported to the death camp Chełmno nad Nerem extermination camp. They were asphyxiated either on the day of arrival or the day after in gas vans especially designed for the purpose. This number of people is taken from the number of train tickets sold during these 8 days. The deportees' transport was paid for by the Getto Vervaltung (The Ghetto Administration).
During the same dates, eighty years later, this artistic work commemorates the victims from Litzmannstadt ghetto through the book and the performance designed around it. Every day the performance is set up in a specific place around Bergen (CM7, Bergen Public Library, Bergen Railway Station, Tårnsalen, University Museum; Knut Knaus Auditorium, KMD; and Storetveit Church). At CM7 there is an exhibition that contextualises the performance.
The glass book box – Book of Remembrance – will be shown alongside drawings and projections made up of the 640 names of children that have been found during the research. Visitors to the exhibition and performances are invited to take with them an artist book that contains one of the names as a keepsake.
The performance and the resulting bookwork derives its origins from a specific historic event. Simultaneously it can be seen as an acknowledgement of victims of past and present who have experienced crimes against humanity, through forced labour and incarceration, ethnic cleansing and genocide, suffering that is still ongoing in many corners of the world.