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Buchenwald Memorial | 99427 Weimar-Buchenwald  |  www.buchenwald.de | 12-13-1998 to 5-10-1999
Poster +++ Exhibition views +++ Reviews in German

Boris Lurie show, Buchenwald poster
Posterdesign: Sybille Wittmann, Stuttgart
Photo: Clayton Patterson, New York

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view #1view #2view #2
view #4Boris Lurie in the show
click on image to enlarge

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Reviews in German:

By Rudij Bergmann
Published in: Thüringer Allgemeine, Weimar, December 12, 1998

... For example: Saturation Paintings (Buchenwald), photos and newspaper clippings by Lurie formally strictly collaged on canvas. In the center, a photo showing Buchenwald prisoners at the barbed wire, presumably waiting for their liberation, faces reflecting tragedy and hope, life expectancy and brokenness. Framing this photo are those of a pinup girl in explicit poses and promises. This, too, is the freedom that awaits those who have had to forgo diverse life for so long under murderous conditions. Boris Lurie has brought the beautiful and the naked, the forgotten and the images of saints to the painful and pleasurable denominator of life. Works of art against forgetting, but also works of art that neither want to be appropriated nor legitimize looking away. Boris Lurie has artistically manifested the simultaneity of events more radically than anyone else in this century. The horror paired with the impact, the pleasure with the horror. And he sought to banish the experienced horror in the manner of concept art. Lurie's way of life and art, which has its roots not least in Goya and the Dadaists, it is easy to establish a correspondence to the political faction of Fluxus. And indeed, the French Fluxist Jean-Jacques Lebel worked in New York with Boris Lurie and the NO!art movement that he, Stanley Fisher, and Sam Goodman defined. An artist formation from 1959 to 1964 to which nothing was sacred. ... more

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By Rudij Bergmann
Published in: Frankfurter Rundschau on January 9, 1999

In the Weimar Capital of Culture Year 1999, the exhibition of Boris Lurie, who was born in Leningrad in 1924 and grew up in Riga, is an artistic-political counter-attack that does not care about aesthetic subtleties, because the location of the art action, the Buchenwald concentration camp memorial site located above Weimar, would hardly allow it. The real horrors of the place and his own experienced banned in art, that is what the concentration camp inmate Lurie as an artist in two whitewashed oppressively low basement rooms of the former disinfection building spreads. And much of what he created from the 1950s to 1998, which memorial director Volkhard Knigge brought from the U.S. to Weimar, not only tramples on the nerves of the squeamish in the art business, it will also cause those whose fate is the subject of art here. But not in the usual dignified to ritualized manner of commemoration, but in the field of tension between voyeuristic pleasure and sheer horror. Not infrequently, the artist's daring combinations of mountains of corpses and naked beauties serving all male fantasies have . . . more

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By Matthias Reichelt
Published in: Kunstforum, Band 145, Köln, May-June 1999

In many long articles, the cultural program of this year's European Capital of Culture is examined from every perspective, the pros and cons of the Goethe House duplicate are weighed up, and in the process Buchenwald is lost sight of for all the Weimar. At the same time, the never-ending story of the Holocaust memorial, with the help of which the Berlin Republic would like to self-righteously celebrate itself as purified and secretly take the side of the victims, comes to a bizarre climax. Although the proposal to have the admonition "Thou shalt not murder" artistically designed in ancient Hebrew(!) lettering as a central memorial to the murdered European Jews in Berlin rather suggests authorship of the satirical magazine Titanic, it is nevertheless seriously meant and comes from Richard Schröder (SPD). At the same time, the active participation of German soldiers in the war over Kosovo in Yugoslavia is being celebrated by the red/green government as a historic date. - In view of the debates briefly outlined here and the political atmosphere, it may come as no surprise that the former concentration camps and today's memorial sites, with their arduous knowledge transfer and remembrance work threatened by a shortage of funds, hardly play a role in this Berlin republic. - The Buchenwald Memorial has ... has come up with a special contribution for the European Capital of Culture Weimar 1999. In the basement of the former disinfection, i.e. below the permanent collection with works of former prisoners and contemporary international artists, an exhibition with the New York artist Boris Lurie was shown until May 10, 1999. ... more

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Report by Klaus Fabricius
Published in: NO!art in Buchenwald, Boris Lurie: Gedichtigtes/Geschriebigtes, Stuttgart 2003

To NO!art to Buchenwald concentration camp in winter, that was a proposal I was soon to decide. I was never there, it flew through my head, never in the concentration camp. Nor go there alone and should sleep in the warm. And as it turned out later in a side speech by the NO!art artist Boris Lurie, who was now showing his work there and who had been locked up there in the 1940s: Yes, he said, he had also slept worse than in this very shitty place, namely later once on a ferry. Was it from Reykjavik to ... ? - Well, I slept well. But those were only short hours. Not that the storm and the rain outside my room prevented me, no, because my room was good. The others too, at least the renovated ones and the ones in the lee. - I immediately met the NO!art experts Dietmar and Martin Kirves from Berlin. They showed us, with ironic smiles, how everything had to go for that night in the former SS barracks. On the arrival evening adventurous stories circled in the smoke of the common round. In the process, we heard eerie sounds in the solitude of the concentration camp memorial. "Be quiet, what was that, don't you hear it too?" ... A snowstorm swept through the concentration camp grounds outside on Goethe's Ettersberg. - In the morning, there was also something for breakfast, right next door in the other barracks, the canteen. Still with the charm of socialist coziness, which I defended from time to time, between the beloved Styrofoam ceiling and the imitation wood in the floor linoleum. For breakfast there was, "Do you have a cheese roll?" - "No, but sausage on a bun." That the sausage was warm was the good surprise. - Eckhart Holzboog had left Stuttgart at half past three in the morning, without sleep during the night, via Frankfurt Airport, where Boris Lurie and Clayton Patterson still had to be picked up, due to uncertain factors, because Boris Lurie had not found his passport again in New York. But now they arrived more than on time, nobody wanted to believe it, here on the parking lot in front of the window, in front of our eyes. . . . more

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