Now On View

  


 

"HOME"

by Nicole Nordstrom, Joyce Chang, and Kitty Hu

Exploring Living Testimony of 'Home' for Holocaust Survivors Living in Los Angeles

May 16th, 2018

6PM - 8PM, Gindy Gallery at UCLA Hillel

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ARTIST INSPIRATION


The inspiration for this project came during a trip to Yad Vashem this January. As I (Nicole) walked through the Children’s Memorial and witnessed one million lights representing the children who died in the Holocaust, I was deeply moved to meet those children who survived and lived in my neighborhood of Los Angeles. A few weeks later, I met Jacob Bresler, a 90-year-old Polish Jewish Holocaust survivor who sat in on my German History class. Spurred by desire to bear witness to his testimony, I sat down with Jacob twice a week for 2 months to learn the details of his Holocaust experience. At first, I was so uneasy around him, I was so afraid of asking the hard  questions. But time and time again, Jacob would tell me, “I live to tell; I live so that your generation will remember after I am gone.” My kinship with Jacob has created a deep personal connection to the Holocaust and the individuals that bear these narratives. Combining our passions for storytelling, videography, photography, and Holocaust Education, Kitty Hu, Joyce Chang, and I have crafted a project to honor these survivors and personalize Holocaust testimony to a Jewish and non-Jewish audience at UCLA.

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ARTIST STATEMENT

Over the past two months we have interviewed and photographed seven Holocaust survivors from the Cafe Europa and UCLA Bearing Witness Community. Each interview has explored questions relating to home life before, during and after the war. We ask survivors to walk us through their childhood home and describe the sensations and significant people who defined this place. We explore life in the concentration camps by asking questions about what temporary homes they had during this time. Lastly, we invite survivors to tell us about the chapters of their lives that came after the war. We ask about how each individual has built a home in Los Angeles and what is their greatest sense of pride and joy to date. Ultimately, this interview footage will be projected alongside the printed photographs in the Gindy Gallery at UCLA Hillel.

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"Parsha Posters" by Hillel Smith

Extended by Popular Demand


Begun at Simchat Torah 2015, the Parsha Poster project is a series of posters "advertising" the parshat hashavua (weekly Torah portion). The posters utilize innovative Hebrew typography--each one integrates the Hebrew name of the parsha in Hebrew somehow into the illustration--and a bold, graphic aesthetic to tell Biblical stories in a new way. 



Hillel Smith is an artist and graphic designer focusing on engaging communities with their heritage in innovative ways. He graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a degree in Visual Studies. Finding a lack of inspiring new Jewish art, he attempts to re-imagine the potential of Judaica by utilizing contemporary media like spray paint and digital graphics to create new manifestations of traditional forms. He has painted dynamic Jewish murals in Southern California and Israel with his Hebrew street art venture Illuminated Streets, with more murals on the way. He revitalizes ancient rituals with online projects like his GIF Omer Counter and Parsha Poster series, encouraging creative reconsideration of religious practice. He leads workshops on Jewish art, including Jewish street art, at a growing number of institutions, centering on artistic empowerment, continuity, and manifesting identity through the arts. Seeing Hebrew as the visual glue binding Jews together across time and space, he also teaches Jewish typographic history, using print as a lens for Jewish life and culture. Making fun and engaging content is also the crux of his work as a designer of educational products, viral videos, and marketing materials for organizations large and small, as for clients like Patton Oswalt. See his work at hillelsmith.info

Supported by ASYLUM ARTS.

 

On view in the Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf (1st Floor)