Ori Gersht: This Storm Is What We Call Progress
25 January – 29 April 2012
This Storm Is What We Call Progress is a significant new exhibition of work by the Israeli-born, London-based artist Ori Gersht. The exhibition, opening at the start of IWM London's Holocaust Memorial Day commemorations, is Gersht's first major solo museum show in the UK.Gersht's work often deals with conflict, history and geographical place. The three central works in this new exhibition each disguise dark and complex themes beneath seductive, beautiful imagery.
Will You Dance For Me? depicts an 85-year-old dancer rocking back and forth in a chair, slowly recounting her experiences as a young woman in Auschwitz. Her punishment for refusing to dance at an SS officer's party was to stand barefoot in the snow, and she pledged that if she survived she would dedicate her life to dance.The photographic work Chasing Good Fortune examines the shifting symbolism of Japanese cherry blossoms, which came to be linked with Kamikaze soldiers during the Second World War.Art Funded worksThe two-screen film Evaders, bought for Towner with a grant from the Art Fund International programme in 2011, explores the mountainous path of the Lister Route, used by many to escape Nazi-occupied France. The film focuses on the ill-fated journey of Jewish writer and philosopher Walter Benjamin, whose own words give the exhibition its title.