Israel: “The Night I Will Shoot the Suns” presents the Holocaust in a new way

With this new exhibition, Colette Leinman signs an artistic meeting that will not leave anyone indifferent

Conveying the wordless through art while giving free rein to everyone’s imagination. In the fascinating exhibition “At Night I Will Draw the Sun”, Colette Leinman approaches the Holocaust in a variety of ways, creating a universe that is both subtle and surprising. Paintings, collages, paintings or even tattoos on imitation leather evoke an indescribable feeling in the visitor, the meaning of which he will search for during the journey. Loving the details and the carefully selected symbolism that she breathes into each of her works, Colette immerses the viewer in a unique experience at the intersection between the imaginary and the real, aesthetics and knowledge. Created between 1994 and 2022, the duality that will be the overarching theme of this exhibition, brought together by Adi Angel to mark International Holocaust Day on January 27, when Ms. Leinman is showing for the first time her previously hidden works, remains timeless. A spectacular journey through history at Beit Yad Libanim in Rishon Lezion until February 2.

Upon entering, the visitor is greeted by a photograph of a plaque commemorating those who died during the deportations and a stela filled with ashes in front of the synagogue in Rouen where Colette was.

“I wanted to start this exhibition with my personal story. My father was a prisoner of war in the same camp as Levinas, and after his return he was appointed minister of worship in Rwanda, Israel. After the war, a new, very modern synagogue was built. A list of the names of the deported victims, as well as an urn with ashes brought from Auschwitz Our apartment was next to it, and I passed by these names several times a day, I read, then I realized that these people could no longer live, and then I realized my mission: to live, sing, dance and all this. to give meaning to my life by carrying people inside me. I’m not so lucky,” said Colette Leinman i24NEWS.

Caroline Hayat/i24NEWS“Night I’ll Draw the Sun”, Colette Leinman

avoid being forgotten

Dozens of children’s portraits, sometimes stacked on top of each other, on parchment paper depicting corpses piled up on a wall, in trains, or in gas chambers. All of these children have different expressions, but most of them are closed eyes, smiling, dreaming or sleeping. The artist wanted to represent carelessness and innocence: they do not know that they will be destroyed and therefore do not worry. Some faces are looking at us and some are looking away, but the visitor, knowing their bitter fate, finds himself helpless in the face of these broken destinies. Colette Leinman offers and thereby presents the immensity of the Nazi horror by making real the memory of those who were not here.

“I didn’t want a transparent or opaque backing, and if I can say that, it’s symbolic, because this paper is oven-safe, but it doesn’t burn. Most of the kids are still happy, and that’s an important key to remember, I didn’t do that. I don’t want to sound pathetic. ” he said. This hope, which the artist relies on, is also in the name of the exhibition inspired by the work of Boris Cyrulnik. I will write suns at night. “It inspires hope and resilience despite suffering, and that’s the message I want to convey: in any situation, you can hold on to life and overcome it.”

“Burning House”

In one of Colette’s paintings, she emphasizes the theme of the “burning house”, referring to the 6 million Jews killed during the Holocaust. By depicting in perspective a house without a foundation and a roof with Nazi stamps, it shows that even when faced with destruction, the Jewish people are forever rebuilding themselves. A habitat that is not anchored in space can thus move and reproduce without restriction, just like a nation that we want to destroy, and one that very much exists today.

Caroline Hayat/i24NEWS
Caroline Hayat/i24NEWSThe House Is Burning by Colette Leinman

“With engravings and collages, I try to convey the idea of ​​continuity. It evokes the Jewish people who survived barbarism and the will to systematically destroy an entire people. We see the light at the end of the tunnel. The armless figure in the foreground walks and thinks with spiritual guidance. He continues on his way despite the horror. ” he explains.

The tension between the atrocities of Nazism and the zest for life

The entire space in the gallery was occupied. Collages of deconstructed and reconstructed geometric stripes on the ground evoke a kind of mental embankment as well as the railroads of death trains.

“I wanted the works to be on the ground to show that the deportees who come to the camps don’t go where they want, they don’t have freedom of movement. Thanks to these groups that act as signs on the ground, I represent them. Obstacles,” says Colette.

Caroline Hayat/i24NEWS
Caroline Hayat/i24NEWS“Night I’ll Draw the Sun”, Colette Leinman

Colette Leinman’s huge frescoes on the wall depict decaying maps of barbed wire, dead-end mazes, black tape, slashed lines, and reassembled camps, which she recreates with arrows for a dead-end exit. a plan that reflects the orderly Nazi spirit whose original configuration the artist is trying to disrupt here. “I invented signs and language to express what no one else could say,” says Colette.

A deformed Hitler seal, caricatured German eagles, or even a display of the 1936 Olympics and German musical notes, there are so many allusions to the Nazi regime that the artist has included in small touches to show the phenomenon of reverse destruction of German cultural supremacy. The Jewish people now have the upper hand over their Nazi enemy.

The symbolism of the reverse tattoo

The same logic can be seen in two works made of imitation leather, which the artist describes as “tattoos”, depicting figures tattooed on the arms of exiles. Ms. Leinman approaches the celebration of bee motherhood by carving the figure of a woman and her child into leather, using holes and ink.

“I was inspired by a postcard I bought, then I looked for a piece of leather, and Skai imitated the color of the flesh, and then I made holes with a roller to tattoo the support. Jews are very familiar with tattooing, but I reversed the general model. Here, the Germans tattooed themselves. they find, I make them face the worst things they do to a Jew, because beating is a sin. In the 2nd case, I beat a Jewish mother. naked, ready to go to the gas chamber, modest, hiding the body. This is one of the rare views of a naked Jewish woman,” said Colette, physical claims that he wants to convey feelings to the visitor.

Caroline Hayat/i24NEWS
Caroline Hayat/i24NEWSAryan Maternity Tattoo by Colette Leinman

On leaving, the visitor comes across a blue canvas that at first glance symbolizes hope, but actually represents the blue stains left by Zyklon B on the walls of the gas chambers. “There’s a kind of clash between what we feel and what we understand. I didn’t want to paint directly blue, but to recover the process as a material. So I superimposed blue spots. It’s a very beautiful blue that catches our eye, but it calls out and I think this sums up my message well: the body must first experiment with the senses before the brain accepts explanations,” he concludes.

Caroline Hayat/i24NEWS
Caroline Hayat/i24NEWS“Night I’ll Draw the Sun”, Colette Leinman

With this new exhibition, Colette Leinman signs an artistic meeting that will not leave anyone indifferent. He graduated from Tel Aviv University with a doctoral degree in catalogs of Surrealists in Paris, and has several collections, especially in the Israel Museum. He will give a lecture on symbolism in art at the Netanya Academic College on January 22.

Caroline Haiat is a journalist for the French website i24NEWS

Posted in Art

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *