On Friendship / (Collateral Damage) II- The Guardians of the Door – Reflection on Kazimir Malevich

On Friendship / (Collateral Damage) II- The Guardians of the Door – Reflection on Kazimir Malevich

Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam
Sunday 22 October 2017
Reflection on Kazimir Malevich:
The Naked Square / EIRUV ChaTzeROT (Amalgamation of Courts) Black upon White in the Memory of the Destruction
[of the second BET Ha-MiKDaSh]

On Friendship / (Collateral Damage) II – The Guardians of the Door

(22 June 2017 – January 2018) Luther and 500 years of Reformation are the central subjects: art, performances, artistic interventions, round-table conversations, lectures and a book publication. A critical reflection on the image of Luther as a ‘superstar’ and on his importance then and now.


Jom Semah – cyclist
Peter Baren – the House Painter
Baruch Abraham – translator of Joseph Sassoon Semah’s mother language (Hebrew)
Renée Hartog – the Conductor
Bülent Evren, Ferdinand van Dieten, Tom Bouws, Ton Nijhuis, Joseph Sassoon Semah – the Chorus of the Void

Camera – Estella Chia-Min-Fang
Editing – Bob Schoo, https://www.youtube.com/channel/
Photography – Ilya Rabinovich
© Metropool International Art Projects, curator: Linda Bouws, 2017/2018

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On Friendship / (Collateral Damage) II – The Guardians Of The Door – Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam 2017

On Friendship / (Collateral Damage) II – The Guardians of the Door – Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam – Friday 20 October 2017

Reflection on Joseph Beuys 2017/1986 – Joseph Sassoon Semah: How to explain hare hunting to a dead German artist

In On Friendship / (Collateral Damage) II – The Guardians of the Door Luther and 500 years of Reformation are the central subject: with art, performances, artistic interventions, round-table conversations, lectures and a book publication. A critical reflection on the image of Luther as a ‘superstar’ and on his importance then and now. The Nieuwe Kerk, The Joods Historisch Museum, the Stedelijk Museum and the Goethe-Institut are all partners in this project.”


Location Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, Friday 20th October 2017/1986 Reflection on Joseph Beuys:

Jom Semah – cyclist
Peter Baren – reading through a megaphone excerpt from – Martin Luther/On the Jews and Their Lies 1543
Baruch Abraham – translator of Joseph Sassoon Semah’s mother language [Hebrew]
Anastasia Kozlova – violinist [Adagio by Johann Sebastian Bach] Masja Austen – the symbolic surrogate mother
Emile Schrijver – General director of the Jewish Historical Museum Amsterdam – Mirror-image
Margriet Schavemaker – Head of Collections and Research Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam
Joseph Sassoon Semah – the Guest

With thanks to the Nieuwe Kerk, the Jewish Historical Museum, the Stedelijk Museum, the Goethe-Institut, Fonds Kerk en Wereld, Gravin van Bylandt Stichting, Haëlla Stichting, Kattendijke/Drucker Stichting, Mondriaan Stichting, De Vrijzinnige Fondsen, and to everyone who helped and contributed to On Friendship / (Collateral Damage) II – The Guardian of the Door

Camera, editing and photography: Estella Chia-Min-Fang, Bob Schoo, Ilya Rabinovich

© Metropool International Art Projects, curator: Linda Bouws, 2017/2018

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Jewish Art: Not In Heaven – Artists As Partners In Creation

Curators Judith Cardozo and Dr. Susan Nashman Fraiman present The exhibition “Not in Heaven”, which was part of the Jerusalem Biennale 2019. The exhibit was a response of designers and artists to a dramatic story from the Talmud.

The presentation includes individual items from the exhibition itself, as well as musings on the role of Jewish texts as sources of inspiration for artists.

More info: https://jewishartsalon.org/2020/04/21/not-in-heaven-artists-as-partners-in-creation/

Dr. Susan Nashman Fraiman is a lecturer, researcher and curator of Jewish and Israeli art. She has taught at Hebrew College in Newton, Ma, the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies and currently teaches at the Rothberg School for Overseas Students. She served for five years as the collection manager at the Yad Vashem Art Museum and curated the exhibit “The Fine Line” in the 2015 Jerusalem Biennale.
Website: www.artinisrael.net

Born in New York City, Judy Cardozo, Independent Curator and writer, educated at Pratt Institute and Barnard College, worked at the National Foundation for Jewish Culture and curated exhibitions at the Bronx Museum, Yeshiva University Museum and the Bertha Urdang Gallery. In Toronto, she was curator of the Beth Tzedec Museum and and co-produced the ASHKENAZ Festival at Harbourfront. In Israel since 2000, she worked at the Center for Jewish Art and has been involved with the Jerusalem Biennale.

Organized and hosted by the Jewish Art Salon; co-sponsored by Art Kibbutz and Jada Art.

Edited by Jonah Rubin-Flett. Assistance by Bluma Gross.

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Ella Shohat ~ Remainders Revisited: An Exilic Journey from Hakham Sasson Khdhuri To Joseph Sassoon Semah

SPUI25 – Amsterdam – December 2, 2019

Keynote Lecture Professor Ella Shohat (New York University):
‘Remainders Revisited: An Exilic Journey from Hakham Sassoon Khdhuri to Joseph Sasson Semah’. She reflected on the significance of a place in the narration of the displaced Jewish-Iraqi community in the wake of overpowering political forces that, in one form or another, generated a historical vortex that rendered impossible a millennial existence in Mesopotamia.The enormous task of shepherding a Jewish community massively impacted by internal and external political pressures after the fall of the Ottoman empire and the establishment of the state of Iraq fell largely on the shoulders of the Hakham Bashi (the Chief Rabbi and also the President of the Iraqi Jewish Community), Sasson Khdhuri, the grandfather of artist Joseph Sassoon Semah. Although the majority of Iraqi Jews were dislocated in the wake of the partition of Palestine and the establishment of the state of Israel, the Hakham stayed to safeguard those who remained in Iraq, living through wars, revolutions, and a dictatorial regime that rendered hellish the situation of all Iraqis, but especially of Jews, existing as they did under the unrelenting suspicion of disloyalty. At the same time, some of the Hakham’s children moved to Israel where the Iraqi-Jews, along with Sephardi/Middle Eastern Jews more generally, experienced exclusion, rejection, and otherization as Arabs/ Orientals.

Against this backdrop, one can appreciate the self-exiling of some Mizrahim, including that of the grandson of the Hakham Bashi, artist Joseph Sassoon Semah, who left Israel in 1974 and has been living in Amsterdam since 1981. Tracing the familial passage from the Hakham’s decision to remain in Iraq to his grandson’s decision to depart from Israel encapsulates the fraught trajectory of a shattered community. These simultaneously in-place and out-of-place figures allegorize the unsettled story of Jewish-Iraq. In her keynote lecture Professor Shohat explored some of the motifs in the work of Joseph Sassoon Semah to illuminate the twinned loci of “Zion” and “Babylon” in the present-day formation of contradictory affiliations and paradoxical notions of “exile” and “diaspora.” The emphasis on a “Third Galut” in particular will serve to unfold a tale of a Jewish rupture from an accustomed Arab cultural geography, as re-membered by the descendants of those forced to abandon the land between two rivers, resulting in a lingering feeling of at once homelessness and at-home-ness.

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Joseph Sassoon Semah, Henk Wijnen en Renée Hartog over de rol van de kunstenaar, vrijheid en engagement

In het kader van On Friendship/(Collateral Damage) III – The Third GaLUT; Baghdad, Jerusalem, Amsterdam was op 25 november 2019 vanuit Werkgebouw het Veem Amsterdam: Een gesprek tussen Joseph Sassoon Semah en Henk Wijnen over de rol van de kunstenaar, vrijheid en engagement, onder leiding van Renée Hartog, cultureel diplomaat.

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Machteld Leij ~ Joseph Sassoon Semah in Museum De Domijnen

Joseph Sassoon Semah Being Touched by an Angel Just Before Birth tot 16 februari in Musem De Domijnen, Linge 5, Sittard

Hart – Alles over kunst. Nummer 200.  De in Bagdad geboren joodse kunstenaar Joseph Sassoon Semah kwam in 1981 in Amsterdam wonen, na omzwervingen via Tel Aviv, Parijs, Londen en Berlijn. Van de meest prachtige, maar soms ook beladen materialen en vormen maakt hij installaties en geeft hij performances. Drijvende kracht in zijn symbolische werk is zijn eigen leven en de verdwenen joodse cultuur van het Midden-Oosten.

Dat kunstenaar Joseph Sassoon Semah (1948, Bagdad) niet altijd de aandacht kreeg die hij verdient, zou weleens kunnen komen door de religieuze onder- en boventoon in zijn werk. Religie ligt niet goed in de moderne kunst. Want die kunst zou rationeel en universeel moeten zijn. Maar Semah, joods en geboren in Bagdad, ziet dat heel anders. De moderne kunst barst van vormen die ten minste toch familiair zijn aan aspecten van joodse religie en geschiedenis. Het duidelijkste voorbeeld is het werk van Barnett Newman. Diens abstracte schilderijen met vlakken en banen zijn in Semahs ogen te vergelijken met de stroken op het witte gebedskleed van zijn grootvader, die opperrabijn was in Bagdad. Die blauwe stroken corresponderen met het abstracte werk van Newman, meent Semah. Hij verwerkt in zijn installatie NelLAH (The closing of the gates (Open closed) uit 1987 gebedsmantels, schildersdoek en deuren. Ernaast zette hij kartonnen dozen waarin ooit Blue Band, een margarinemerk, was verpakt.

In het rationele westen – in dit geval Nederland – is religie uit de kunst gefilterd. Maar Semah ziet, benadrukt en herijkt beeldelementen die terug te leiden zijn tot religie, tot de joodse traditie. Museum De Domijnen richtte Semahs overzichtstentoonstelling Being Touched by an Angel Just Before Birth in. Het vroegste werk stamt uit de jaren zeventig, het meest recente is van vorig jaar. De tentoonstelling is onderdeel van een langer lopend project, met performances en exposities in onder meer het Joods Historisch Museum. Waar andere kunstenaars nog weleens groeispurts doormaken, is het werk van Semah enorm consistent. Zijn installaties en tekeningen zijn tegelijk tijdloos en eigentijds. Als je niet naar de titels kijkt, zou je niet weten of een werk uit de jaren zeventig is, of dat het juist het atelier van de kunstenaar heeft verlaten.
De beelden die Semah maakt zijn voetnoten bij zijn teksten. Zijn materiaalgebruik is meesterlijk: zwaar geroeste vormen in cortenstaal zijn geometrisch, maar met hun roest ook een symbool van de verglijdende tijd. Glazen platen liggen gerangschikt volgens de plattegrond van een Duitse synagoge die tijdens de Kristallnacht werd vernietigd. Ze steunen op bronzen dingo’s. Honden zijn christelijk, associeert Semah, en dingo’s zijn bijzonder, omdat ze zich juist weer ontworsteld hebben aan de mensenwereld en opnieuw wild zijn geworden.

Lees verder: https://hart-magazine.be/expo/joseph-sassoon-semah-in-museum-de-domijnen

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