10 2019

Making New Jewish Art from Traces of a Jewish Past in Poland

3:30PM - 4:15PM  

Limmund, University of Toronto, Faculty of Law 78 Queen's Park
Toronto, ON

$ Cost $ 55.00

MI POLIN (Hebrew for “from Poland”) is the first Judaica company established in Poland since World War II. MI POLIN’s founders, Helena Czernek and Aleksander Prugar, see their work as a way of strengthening their Polish-Jewish identity, extending the legacy of 1,000 years of Jewish life and creativity in Poland until today. Their passion project has taken them across the country in search of traces of mezuzot still found on doorposts of homes, gateways and apartments. Over the last six years, Helena and Aleksander have driven over 50,000 kilometers and visited over 70 cities and towns with their journeys extending into the Ukraine, Belarus and Romania. When they discover a trace of mezuzah that once hung there, they make a mold of the space left behind and cast a new bronze mezuzah, creating a positive shape from the negative space. They have created more than 100 mezuzahs, often visiting a new city at the request of descendants of Polish-Jewish families around the world. Each trip is followed up with archival research, unlocking the stories of the Jewish families that once lived in these homes. Join Warsaw-based artists Helena and Aleksander for an illustrated presentation on their adventures through former Jewish communities into bustling shops, abandoned buildings and quiet courtyards, interacting with locals and returning relatives. It’s a surprising and inspiring story of making Jewish art in Poland today.