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Polish art museum features naked tag game in gas chamber

Polish art museum features naked tag game in gas chamber (3)


World Jewish Congress (WJC) President Ronald S. Lauder today criticized the Museum of Contemporary Art in Krakow (MOCAK), Poland for reinstating an art installation that features a video of naked men and women playing tag in a gas chamber.

“The exhibition”, the Museum website explains, “highlights the significant presence of the theme of Auschwitz in the historical, social and cultural discourse.

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“It demonstrates how contemporary artists from Poland, Israel and Germany interpret events from the past. This is not about presenting art broadly thematically related to the Holocaust, rather – about works that deal with the ‘anus mundi’– Auschwitz as a place of genocide, the most tragic man-made symbol there is.


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The exhibition poses a number of questions. After the last witnesses have died, will Auschwitz become a dark and vacant pop-cultural motif, a pure provocation, a horror Disneyland? Or are such worries exaggerated? Will the second and third post- Auschwitz generations feel a responsibility to carry the memory of these events?”

Lauder said: “Despite the protestations of Shoah survivors and many others, Jews and non-Jews alike, the museum continues to show an exhibit that hurts many people’s feelings. We urge the MOCAK to immediately remove this exhibit.”

He went on to say: “We are very disappointed that a distinguished museum like the MOCAK would screen a film that causes extraordinary anguish to Auschwitz survivors and many others to whom the Holocaust is not a remote event in history, but rather serves as an enduring warning about the dangers of anti-Semitism, racial hatred and xenophobia.

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“Whatever the legality of that decision, we can only express shock that sensationalism in the guise of freedom of artistic expression should trump sensitivity and goodwill, and, of all places, Krakow should show some sensitivity to the feelings of survivors.”

The controversial video exhibit is called “Game of Tag” and was on display earlier this year at an art museum in Estonia before being pulled following protests. The film was initially screened as part of an exhibition that enjoyed the patronage of the Israeli Embassy in Warsaw. The embassy eventually withdrew its support and the exhibit was discontinued, but later reinstated by MOCAK.


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