THE PARADOX: FREE SPEECH AND HOLOCAUST DENIAL IN CANADA
NOV 1 - NOV 22
How should a liberal democracy like Canada respond to Holocaust denial? What are the reasonable limits of free speech? What major decisions set the limits of denial in Canada? How have other nations responded to denial? 75 years after liberation, Holocaust denial and antisemitism are reviving and evolving while international debates rage over the limits of free speech. The Paradox: Free Speech and Holocaust Denial in Canada explores the regulation of historical memory and reflects on what Austrian philosopher Karl Popper terms the paradox of tolerance: that “unlimited tolerance must lead to the disappearance of tolerance.”
ON THE DOORPOSTS: MAKING NEW JEWISH ART FROM TRACES OF A JEWISH PAST IN POLAND
OCT 31 - NOV 27
Combining contemporary photography and archival research, this original exhibition takes visitors on a journey across Poland with young Warsaw-based artists and Judaica designers, Helena Czernek and Aleksander Prugar. Visitors will receive a behind-the-scenes look at their remarkable project to locate and preserve traces of mezuzot still found on doorposts of homes, gateways and apartments across Poland. They cast a bronze mezuzah from a mold made out of the space left behind by the mezuzah that once hung there. They create meaningful, beautiful Jewish ritual objects for today’s home while commemorating Jewish homes abandoned during the Holocaust. To date, Helena and Aleksander have visited over 70 cities and towns, extending their journeys into Ukraine, Belarus and Romania. The exhibition highlights a handful of the more than one hundred mezuzot they have created under the banner of their company, MI POLIN. Discover MI POLIN’s surprising and inspiring story of making Jewish art in Poland today.
The artist duo behind the internationally successful Warsaw-based Judaica company MI POLINcreate a new site-specific art installation for the FENTSTER window gallery in downtown Toronto. This exhibition extends Helena Czernek and Aleksander Prugar’s deep interest in the Jewish ritual object, the mezuzah, which is traditionally affixed to the doorways of Jewish homes. Creating a window in the shape of a large-scale mezuzah within the gallery’s front window /“okno” in Polish, the artists offer an unexpected view to a place that Jews called home for generations. Visitors will be able to peek into the window space for a vantage point of contemporary Poland in living colour and great beauty, despite the deep scars of the past. The exhibition pushes past stereotypical images locked into the Jewish imagination of a country cast in black and white with mud-packed lanes filled with peddlers and fiddlers on rooftops to a modern place that a flourishing Jewish community still calls home.