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Fot. Muzeum Historii Żydów Polskich

May 18
From 7.00 pm till 1.00 am

Exhibition "Letters to Afar"

Multimedia installation by Péter Forgács with music by The Klezmatics. The core of the artwork is an immersive multimedia installation in thirteen “orchestrations” based on film material presenting Jew-ish life in inter-war Poland, chiefly amateur films shot by Jewish immigrants from the United States visiting their former homes. The films, originally intended to be viewed by family and fel-low landsmen (friends from the Old Country) in the United States, offer a rare, intimate, informative and touching picture of Jewish families, towns and society. Forgács’ poetic installation will transmit this film postcard to the contemporary viewer.

Project prepared as a joint collaboration of the Museum of the History of Polish Jews and the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research, New York.

Accompanying projects:

  • To those near and far - sound postcard – drawing on Péter Forgács’ installation, visitors will be invited to created their own sound postcard – a message to their ancestors and to contemporary Poles and Jews.
  • Postcards from inter-war Poland – visitors will be invited to meet members of Poland’s pre-war Jewish community, frozen in photographs. Each of the still frames will come alive in a story told by its facilitator.

19.00 International debate: The Architecture of the Museum of the History of Polish Jews – inspirations, symbolism, process, functionality

Debate participants:

  • Prof. Rainer Mahlämaki (Finland) - designer and chief architect of the Museum of the History of Polish Jews
  • Prof. Bogdan Paczowski (Luxembourg) - president of the jury in the competition for the design of the Museum of the History of Polish Jews
  • Prof. Ewa Kuryłowicz – vice-president of the board of directors of Kuryłowicz & Associates, Rainer Mahlamäki’s Polish partner
  • Prof. Maria Poprzęcka – director of the Institute of Art History, University of Warsaw
  • Grzegorz Piątek – architecture critic and curator

Moderator: Grzegorz Stiasny – architect, architecture critic

The “Architektura Murator” monthly is a partner of the debate.

19.30 – 20.30 Build your own museum - family workshops
Art & craft workshops drawing on elements of the architecture of the Museum of the History of Polish Jews.

20.30 – 21.30 Family museum game
Discover the architecture of the Museum of the History of Polish Jews by peeking into “hidden” areas, tracing secret messages and solving puzzles about the history and symbolism of the building.

Throughout the whole evening (19.00 – 1.00):

  • screenings of a film featuring the eight galleries of the Museum’s Core Exhibition, in course of preparation, telling the thousand-year history of Polish Jews,
  • walking tours of the building, allowing visitors to discover the history of the Museum and of its loca-tion, the Polin legend which inspired the design of the glass panels covering the building, as well as different interpretations of the building’s architecture,
  • open workshops on the shapes in the Museum’s architecture and on Jewish symbolism. Visitors will take part in making visual collages that will be projected live onto a wall.

21.00 Concert by Alte Zachen

Alte Zachen (Yiddish: Old Things) is a band founded by guitarist Raphael Roginski, known for his rein-terpretations of Jewish music (Shofar, Wovoka, Cukunft), and featuring Ola Rzepka (Drekoty, Wovoka), Bartek Tycinski and Macio Moretti (Mitch and Mitch, Baaba, Paristetris). Their pieces, often described as “Jewish surfer religious music”, are a combination of Chassidic liturgical songs, rock’n’roll and psy-chedelic rock. “Today we play music that sounds like it’s from the 1960s, was already present in cul-ture 150 years ago, and whose sources reach back 5000 years,” say the musicians, explaining the name of the band, borrowed from the slang of scrap metal gatherers in Israel.