Seeing Jews in Art: Networks, Fantasies and Dreams
A lecture series organised by the Leo Baeck Institute London in cooperation with the German Historical Institute London.
This season’s topic will explore the agency of Jews within the networks shaping visual culture. Spanning from the middle ages to the present, and across a range of different media, it will focus on the point of intersection of Art by Jews with Art about Jews and the complex interplay of Jewish reactions to their depiction in Western art and Gentile attitudes towards Jewish visual culture. How do Jews respond and attempt to re-shape their images, stereotyped by the majority societies surrounding them? How does Jewish material culture them? How does Jewish material culture influence Western visual culture, and how were Jews entangled with the art world?
Dr Daniel Wildmann (Director, Leo Baeck Institute London) has pleasure in inviting you to the second lecture in the series:
Dr Ruth Oren (Haifa) – ‘Coming back to History’ – The Jewish Image in Landscape Photographs of ‘Eretz-Israel’, 1898-1961
The visual presentation about Zionist landscape photography in Palestine (Eretz-Israel), from its beginning in 1898 until 1961, explores the ‘returning’ of the Jews to modern history and geography and the formation of the ‘mental landscape’ of Israel as it was created in the Zionist photographic narrative. Landscape photography, produced and consumed within the National Zionist Institutions, created a utopian image of the Jewish environment by developing a coherent iconography rooted in the hegemonic ideology of cultivating and ‘building’ a country for the Jewish nation.
Ruth Oren’s academic and artistic work ranges from photography to visual communication. She has been a lecturer at the University of Haifa and other academic colleges and has published widely on the history of Israeli photography and Zionist imagery. Dr Oren has curated numerous exhibitions on photography, such as ‘Local memory – Photography in Haifa 1912-1949’ (Haifa, 1998) and ‘Zoltan Kluger, Chief Photographer 1933-1958’ (Tel Aviv, 2008).
Welcome and introduction by Professor Christina von Hodenberg (Director, GHIL) and Dr Daniel Wildmann (Director, LBI):