Lumen Travo Gallery ~ Opening “On Friendship/(Collateral Damage) III – The Third GaLUT”, 7th September h 17:00
Lumen Travo gallery is thrilled to invite you to its first exhibition of the new season: the solo show by artist Joseph Sassoon Semah, who will share his lost rich Jewish Babylonian cultural heritage through art, performances and debates.
On Friendship/(Collateral Damage) III – The Third GaLUT: Baghdad, Jerusalem, Amsterdam is an aesthetic and poetic research into the cities Baghdad, Jerusalem and Amsterdam, which has been conceived by artist Joseph Sassoon Semah and curated by Linda Bouws (Metropool International Art Projects).
All these cities are said to have been tolerant at some time in their history, but how does that relate to ‘otherness’ and what does it mean today?
The project focuses on two lines of thought. The first is what Semah called ‘The Third GaLUT’, the third Exile, a metaphor for disconnectedness.
The second is ‘The Guest’, he who is allowed to live and work in a foreign context tests his surroundings the very moment he articulates his particular position in exile without any reservations. The Guest becomes Host. By this process Semah investigates one of the greatest achievements of human civilisation: hospitality. Joseph Sassoon Semah translates his cultural and visual heritage and its subtext into contemporary art. While doing so he reassesses and redefines lost heritages.
Opening on the 7th September, 17:00-19:00 hrs.
Exhibition running till the 12th October 2019.Besides the show at Lumen Travo, this manifestation will take place in 35 different public locations in Amsterdam, from September 7th-January 19th 2020.
Simultaneously in Amsterdam, Baghdad and Jerusalem a small house will be built: MaKOM in MaKOM.
The project is aiming to translate the cultural heritage of Baghdad, Jerusalem, and Amsterdam, with the help of the different ‘Guests’, into a meaningful experience for a broad audience.
On Friendship/(Collateral Damage) III – The Third GaLUT: Baghdad, Jerusalem, Amsterdam was realised in part with the support of AFK, BPD Cultuurfonds, Lumen Travo Gallery, Mondriaan Fonds and Redstone Natuursteen & Projecten.
Joseph Sassoon Semah was born in Baghdad (Iraq, 1948), as one of the last of a Babylonian Jewish family lineage. Baghdad once was one of the most diverse an tolerant cities in the world. The Babylonian Jews in Iraq were one of the oldest and historically seen, the most important Jewish community. But from 1948, the year of independence for Israel, life for Jews in Iraq becomes extremely difficult.
Between 1950-1952, 120.000 – 130.000 Iraqi Jews were transported to Israel. The displaced Baghdadi Jews were forced to leave behind their culture and possessions in Iraq. Semah, together with his parents was displaced to the State of Israel in 1950.
As a Babylonian Jew who emigrated to the West (Amsterdam), he is part of GaLUT (Exile), an endless cycle of diaspora and return. You long for your country of birth and search for a way to relate to your cultural heritage and traditions.