Studiengalerie 1.357 shows works by media artist Talya Feldman    

From June 12 to July 18, 2024, Studiengalerie 1.357 will be featuring an exhibition of works by artist Talya Feldman. The centerpiece will consist of the video installation “Elegy”, in which the artist addresses the traumatic effect of the 2019 terrorist attack on the synagogue and a kebab store in Halle. The upcoming display is the first of a two-part exhibition project entitled “Put an end to silence” [“Setzt dem Schweigen ein Ende”], which focuses on artistic approaches to right-wing extremism.

Studiengalerie 1.357’s latest exhibition
Put an end to silence: Talya Feldman’s “Elegy” (2020).

June 12 to July 18, 2024, in the IG-Farben-Haus, 1st floor, right-hand side, on Goethe University Frankfurt’s Westend Campus

Opening hours: Mon-Thu 12:00-17:00
Exhibition Opening: Wednesday, June 12, 2024, 7 p.m.

Media artist Talya Feldman’s video work “Elegy” (2020) is an artistic examination of the right-wing extremist terrorist attack on the synagogue in Halle, which took place on October 9, 2019, during the highest Jewish holy day of Yom Kippur. Feldman herself was in the synagogue at the time of the attack. The starting point for her work “Elegy” is her own experience, which she weaves into the thoughts and voices of other survivors.

The 6 1/2-minute video shows a solo performance by dancer and choreographer Tirza Ben-Zvi, who dances in three different locations: in front of a brick building, in an empty room and in a meadow. Accompanying the images is a poem that quotes thought fragments of the attack’s survivors and combines them with prolonged, monotonous synthesizer sounds. Lending their voices to the survivors are Christiany Erler, Paul McKenzie and Muhammad Nouman, whose partially overlapping and doubling sound recordings emphasize the commonalities of the experience while highlighting the shared pain and grief. At the same time, Feldman identifies a language in Ben-Zvi’s movements that helps make this pain narratable beyond words, thereby opening up the possibility of healing. The interplay of the three media forms – sound, dance and poetry – in “Elegy” provides an answer to the question Feldman formulated in a radio interview after the Halle attacks: “How can we link individual experiences with collective or global experiences? How can we overcome borders and languages?”

Talya Feldman (*1990, Denver, Colorado) is a multimedia artist. She received a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2013 and a Master of Fine Arts from the Hochschule für bildende Künste (HFBK) Hamburg in 2022.

Feldman’s artwork has been on display in various cities, including Chicago, New York and Hamburg, by the Odessa Nomadic artist collective in Denver, and the Jewish Museums in Frankfurt and Berlin. She has received numerous prizes and scholarships, including the Jewish Museum Berlin’s DAGESH Art Prize and the German Academic Exchange Service’s (DAAD) scholarship for international students enrolled at HFBK.

Feldman’s artistic work deals with post-traumatic remembrance processes. She works with victims’ initiatives and activist networks, including NSU-Watch [editor’s note: NSU-Watch is an alliance of antifascist and antiracist groups and individuals in Germany, who have been dealing with the racist murder series of the “National Socialist Underground” NSU], to demand and create public recognition for the perspectives and voices of victims of right-wing extremist violence.

The title of the two-part exhibition project “Put an end to the silence” stems from a poem by writer Semra Ertan, who set herself on fire and burned to death in 1982 in an act of protest against racism in the Federal Republic of Germany. The video in the exhibition’s anteroom comes from Feldman’s online project “we are here” and is dedicated to Ertan’s memory. The second exhibition, which will be on display in the 2024 winter semester, presents a filmic work by artist Cana Bilir-Meier, a niece of Ertan, which revolves around the memory of another attack perpetrated by right-wing extremists.

Studiengalerie 1.357 is a teaching and study project at Goethe University’s Frankfurt Humanities Research Centre. It organizes four exhibitions a year, all of them conceived and realized by students from various disciplines. This summer semester, the organizing lecturers are Prof. Bernhard Jussen and Prof. Mirjam Wenzel.

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