I will cooperate with great pleasure with reference to the book I have written and curated for David Labkovski, as the excellent morbid illustrator of the Holocaust, unfortunately relevant also today in so many places on our planet Earth.
The book on Labkovski, as the Holocaust illustrator, is one among other catalogs on the issue.
I will commence right now providing essential information:
When I was initially addressed to write the book and curate the exhibition, I rejected the proposal, as I thought it would be too overwhelming for me to confront the subject.
My grandmother lost her entire family in Austria and had daily nightmares.
As my parents worked abroad, I was sent as a young girl to live at my grandparents in Ramat Gan, Israel.
At nights, when my grandmother, Flora Landesberg Neuman, screamed, activated by her horrific night visions, her sensitive wolf dog, Rolly, promptly ran to her and licked the convulsive face, till she woke up.
These reminiscences of a repetitive worship, sufficed and I had no will or intention to deal with the holocaust issue.
Labkovski had an intricate personality and the Ramat Gan Municipality people urged me, as a theoretician of art and philosophy, an art critic of social newspapers, and as a curator, to undertake the project and attempt to communicate with the artist, and prepare a book…
Thereafter we visited Labkovski several times in his Safed very small, untidy, gloomy, dark apartment and I had to deal with his bad temper and bad manners, while attentively choosing the corpus of work.
I also had difficulties convincing the municipality representatives that the drawings and aquarelles were the climax of the overall creation.
I wanted the book to transmit not only the horrors but the richness of the Jewish culture, which Labkovski was probably acquainted with.
So I adjusted literary storytelling and the pictorial motifs to provide the readers and viewers with an ampler scope of experience. The interlinking of word and image, intellect and emotion, would become an inherent feature of my text and art work.
Finally I had to convince the graphic designers to apply minimal design means and grant the necessary space to the art itself.
The psychological endeavor of writing the book demanded a direct confrontation with the holocaust theme (the phenomenon of cultural and religious massive killing along the history of man – Jews, Romani, Armenians, Kurds, Ruanda Tutsi, Yazidis, Syrians…), overcoming both repulsion and existential fright, attaining catharsis and as a result, setting the goal to work and to provide educational means to enhance a multi-disciplinary, multi-faceted, inter-cultural and inter-religious modus vivendi.
The Labkovski experience probably was one of the main motives which have fostered, some years later, the foundation of The Center of Inter-Religious Peace, the teachings of the multi-cultural in the academies, and the writing and illustrating of books, catalogues and essays, in order to amplify the Spirit, mind and soul, and gradually become all including, tolerant, humble, and respectful towards all sentient beings.
Succinct and very partial information about some of the books (which generally go with exhibitions and lectures) may illuminate my arduous task to overcome step by step, territorial viewpoints, making an effort to avoid adversity:
Caravaggio as a Modernist: What is Modernism? A philosophical and art-historical attempt to demonstrate the validity of the Individual versus collective iconography as the birth of modern self-expression (available on Amazon.)
The Book of Inter-religious Peace: In Word and Image: An attempt to demonstrate the common ground of the great peripheral spiritual trends, versus the institutionalized religions: Kabbalah, St Francis heritage, Islamic Suffis, Indian Tantra, Zen Buddhism, Toltec Path, Tribal faiths (Amazon)
Tarot Archetypes and Zen Buddhism: The Tarot cards are associated to Zen insights so as to increasingly overcome personal idiosyncrasies and territorial concepts and thus to be able to perceive Reality as a dynamic ungraspable flow. The book was published in Hebrew and our members are working on its English translation.
Cab Story: A Play (Translation: Tzach Ben Josef; based on a playwright for The Simta fringe Theater, Jaffa): Summing up stories by taxi drivers having to deal with personal quandaries and daily struggles. A play, a book and an artwork that wishes to refine the ability to better listen, feel, and develop passive responsiveness. (Amazon)
Creation, Myth, and the Chinese Zodiac: Is inspired by the Tao Philosophy as well as the Chinese ancient astrological tradition aiming to enhance the understanding and feeling of Impermanence, Flexibility, Diversity and Pluralism. (Amazon)
The Book of Tolerance: Bases its insights on multi-cultural sources of the world spiritual heritage, to envisage the portrait of Tolerance in sheer contradiction to zealous orthodoxy, religious exclusivity, and fanatics, usually forming part of more institutionalized faiths. (Amazon)
Zen Buddhism as a Vehicle to Increase Creativity: Is a collection of Israeli artists, tuned with the Zen Spirit. All artists chosen respond to an intellectual and emotional aperture and thus non-limited by art recruited to boost any prescribed ideology. This book is based on a doctoral dissertation and is now being adapted to a digital version.
During the present year, we have provided a digital version to the articles written during twenty years for newspapers, art brochures and other publications, on anthropology, archaeology, and philosophy, in order to inculcate the message of the transience of time, non-hierarchical approach, the infinite richness of cultures and the path of continuous revelations and self-revelation.
With Friendly feelings,
The Center of Inter-religious Peace has 21 members who contribute to spread the messages of tolerance and understanding towards all sentient beings.
Workshop A: Assistants: Aide Amit, Miriam Grinberg
Senior members: Adassa Wasserzog, Eldad Soffer, Liora Hitron, Rachel Horam
Workshop B: Assistant: Nurit Fox.
Members: Amir Fox, Shelly Friedland, Rafaat Hattab, Michal Raz, Meirav Lenman, Asi Shimoni.