When Past and Present Meet in Israeli Art: Memorialization of the Holocaust
Memorialization of the Holocaust in Israeli art appeared from the establishment of the State in 1948 and onwards. It was influenced by Israeli society, Israeli art’s institutional attitude towards the subject and by local historical events such as wars, Nazi criminals’ trials, and the conflict between the Israelis and the Arabs since 1948.
For the first three decades of the State of Israel (1948–1967), survivor artists created artworks relating to their memories from the Holocaust period. In the late 1970s the artistic creation on the subject of the Holocaust intensified with the emergence of “Second Generation” artists responses. During the 1980s onward the Holocaust gained the recognition of the artistic establishment as a worthy topic for Israeli art and it is at the center of the Israeli artistic consciousness ever since in the form of memorialization. The phenomenon spread to Israeli artists with no personal relations to the Holocaust. Some artists used images from the Holocaust to refer to current events. From the 1990s onward, the duality between victim and aggressor became a central theme in Israeli art following the occupation of the West Bank and territories after the 6 day war and the first Intifada (1987–1991).
KeywordsMemorialization Holocaust Israeli art
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