For the past forty years I have been questioning the function of art and the artist in our ever changing world and its possibilities. Can art transform and heal? I strive to initiate a dialog around issues that shape our lives and societies. My work is an outgrowth of my investigations of human rights abuses, intolerance, scapegoating and terrorism, and our morality in relationship to nations and individuals. My purpose is to provoke questions to extend my historical data into present day situations. Is it a possibility that art can help us deal with our collective memory of history, to approach current events that continually mirror the atrocities of the past both in our country and in the world? Can we help to create a dialog so that we do not succumb to the numbness of experiencing "The Holocaust" as a series on TV? Is it possible that history does not have to repeat itself? How do we learn? Can we learn? The asking is essential to the continual re-evaluation of these events, which I seek to provoke. -Edith Altman
Edith Altman’s life, and with it her work, describes a circle beginning here in the German town of Altenburg, where the artist was born, and eventually finding its way back to this town. And her work culminates here in a workshop with young people to whom she conveys her wisdom, her knowledge and her message, and with whom she finds a community even though she no longer has command of the German language.
By Ursula Prinz
Curator of the Berlin Gallery Museum