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CFP: Graphic Images – WWII and the Holocaust in Print (NYC, 15-18 FEB 2023)


European Postwar and Contemporary Art Forum (EPCAF)
Graphic Images: WWII and the Holocaust in Print

Chair: Rachel E. Perry, University of Haifa.

Immediately after WWII, small-press albums were drawn, printed, and published by artists from all nationalities across Europe, the Soviet Union and in the DP camps and Mandatory Palestine. Small in size, weight and print-runs, they were bought and displayed as testimonial and commemorative objects recounting an individual and collective history that had not been able to be documented in real time.

Related to the wordless novels of Frans Masereel (Destins, 1940 and Remember!), albums covered the liberation as well as the fallen heroes and victims. Some are well known, like those by Boris Taslitsky, Zinovii Tolkachev, Violette Rougier-Lecoq, Simon Wiesenthal or Lea Grundig. Others by Fiszel Zilberberg, Renato Guttuso, Ágnes Lukács or Elsbieta Nadel less so. From Calvo’s La Bête est morte to Jean-Louis Chancel’s Livre noir, how do albums represent the perpetrators vs. the victims? What are their “missing images” and what tropes, motifs and metaphors predominate? How is gender represented and how did it affect these publications both in content and in representation? How did Jewish and non-Jewish artists envision and address their audiences differently?

Constituting a short-lived but widespread transnational phenomenon to create a portable memorial culture, graphic albums belie the persistent “myth of silence” of the early postwar years. Largely neglected by both Holocaust and Genocide Studies (which privilege textual, oral and video testimonies) and Art History (which privileges unique paintings), they constitute one of the most important and overlooked mediums of early memory, testimony and representation of World War II and the Holocaust.

The deadline for submissions is September 14, 2022.

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