Memory Effects.
The Holocaust and the Art of Secondary Witnessing.


Numerous contributing photographers. Text by Dora Apel.
Rutgers University Press, Baltimore, 2002. 241 pp., numerous color and black-and-white illustrations, 7x10".



Publisher's Description
'Dora Apel’s Memory Effects promises to extend the discussion of ‘second-generation’ art and literature about the Holocaust in important ways. Many of the artists included have not been examined at great length anywhere else, and all deserve just the kind of treatment she accords them.'—James Young, author of The Texture of Memory 'Dora Apel’s Memory Effects is the very first book to link all of the epiphenomena of Holocaust reaction: from high art to historiography to tattoos. How Jews (and others) imagine and represent the Shoah turns out to be a lesson not in secularization or repression or fetishization—but in the ‘normal’ but complex work of cultural production. An amazing book!'—Sander L. Gilman, The University of Illinois–Chicago Dora Apel analyzes the ways in which artists born after the Holocaust—whom she calls secondary witnesses—represent a history they did not experience first hand. She demonstrates that contemporary artists confront these atrocities in order to bear witness not to the Holocaust directly, but to its 'memory effects' and to the implications of those effects for the present and future. Drawing on projects that employ a variety of unorthodox artistic strategies, the author provides a unique understanding of contemporary representations of the Holocaust. She demonstrates how these artists frame the past within the conditions of the present, the subversive use of documentary and the archive, the effects of the Jewish genocide on issues of difference and identity, and the use of representation as a form of resistance to historical closure. Artists discussed: Shimon Attie, Frédéric Brenner, Vera Frenkel, James Friedman, Matthew Girson, Erich Hartmann, Mikael Levin, Pier Marton, Rachel Schreiber, Susan Silas, Marina Vainshtein, Jeffrey Wolin Dora Apel is the W. Hawkins Ferry Chair in Modern and Contemporary Art History at Wayne State University. She has been the volume editor for several exhibition catalogs at Cranbrook Art Museum, including Three Decades of Contemporary Art: The Dr. John and Rose M. Shuey Collection, Iñigo Manglano-Ovalle, and Weird Science.

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