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The Usphizin of the Silver Screen: Honoring the Visions & Voices of the Past
Holocaust Museum LA
This year, we are all living apart…forced to quarantine…many alone, sheltering in place, often with no outlet for deep connection and community. For our elders, there is a loss of voice and in these times, a disappearance. This outdoor installation focuses on the Sukkot tradition of the ushpizin: symbolic guests invited into the sukkah…ancestors…friends. The tradition manifests by calling them into the temporary space of the sukkah to honor stories of the past. Traditionally, the ushpizin are called in through photos and drawings displayed in the sukkah—remembered together by its nightly visitors.
In keeping with Los Angeles culture, this sukkah will be designed as an old-time Hollywood movie house, with the voices and stories of the ushpizin to be watched and heard from the outside. While the sukkah will remain Covid-empty, it will be filled by the once voiceless, with their diverse and cherished Jewish stories and remembrances of the past.
14th Street Y
See highlights from the national project "Dwelling in a Time of Plagues" through the windows of the 14th Street Y lobby gallery in NYC. From October 9 through late November, the Y is displaying "Clamor in the City," an adaptation of Mirta Kupferminc's "Clamor in the Desert." In the coming months, it will be displaying adapted versions of "Shelter in Place" and "Ushpizin of the Silver Screen."
Adam W. McKinney
Shelter in place
Oregon Jewish Museum and Center for Holocaust Education
A Black Jewish response to histories of oppression, "Shelter in Place" is an inquiry into social isolation and the physical and emotional effects of anti-Black racial violence across time and space. "Shelter in Place" is made up of several elements, including: contemporary tintypes of McKinney dressed as 1921 Fort Worth, Texas, lynching victim Mr. Fred Rouse at sites associated with the lynching; a mélange of hanging tree branches to reference the deconstruction of a sukkah; and two projected dance films–one of McKinney performing the story of Mr. Rouse in sites of trauma, and the other a hologram about the intersections of racism and antisemitism in the time of Covid-19.
Clamor in the Desert/Kol Kore Bamidbar
Jewish History Museum (Tucson)
View virtual tour here.
As the artist for this piece, Mirta Kupferminc, writes, the movement of people around the
world does not stop stirring. Whether emigrants, exiles, expatriates, immigrants, or refugees – all are displaced from their homes and are referenced in this sukkah. The sukkah is an unstable and temporary construction, representing the fragility of human life and at the same time a shelter for anyone who feels forlorn.
Kol Kore Bamidbar, are the Hebrew words to say, "That voice that cries out for protection." The work transforms fence materials into a shelter that welcomes everyone. The same material that is used to build limitation and separation are used in this habitable installation to build a celebration, a shelter that receives humanity as a whole. Humanity is represented on the walls of the sukkah, as they are filled with printed images of eyes through participatory collective action. Visitors will be invited to hang prints on the installation. Mirrors hanging from the structure will reflect the eyes of visitors, as witnesses.
In the time of our current plague, although our mouths are covered with protective masks; our voices in our eyes continue to claim justice together.
CLAMOR EN EL DESIERTO/Kol Kore Bamidbar
La suka es una construccion inestable y provisoria, que representa la fragilidad de la vida humana. Pero es tambien el refugio para todo aquel que se siente desprotegido. Kol Kore Bamidbar, son las palabras hebreas para decir “esa voz que pide proteccion.”
Toda suka tiene sus paredes abiertas invitando a todo individuo que desee entrar, y ese es el motivo para celebrar. Es por eso, que en la tradicion judia es obligacion dejar afuera de la suka toda afliccion.
Los colores utilizados en esta obra representan los coleres de los atributos de sukkot, sumado el color del desierto de Arizona. El mismo material que sirve para construir cercos que limitan y separan, fueron utilizados en esta obra para construir un refugio de celebracion que albergue a la humanidad.
En epocas de Covid19, y aunque nuestras bocas esten cubiertas con las mascaras protectoras; nuestras voces en nuestras miradas siguen clamando por justicia para la humanidad toda.