Precursor To The Graphic Novel Painted By Nazi Era Jew In Germany To Be Exhibited At London Museum | Alternative Fruit
Charlotte Salomon died in Auschwitz at the age of 26. Before she was captured by the government and taken to the death-camp, she painted a rich and multifaceted story in daily images. Over two years of hiding, Salomon painted 784 individual artworks that incorporate text and imagery which discuss various issues that concerned the young woman at the time. Named Life? Or Theatre? The collection visits themes such as mental health problems running in the family.
Each painting gives us a snapshot of an imaginary scene which represents a stark reality mixed with projected feelings and fears. Over the course of the sequence, we get to know the inner life and workings of Charlotte Salomon as she did her best to survive in extremely dangerous circumstances.
The uncanny likeness to modern graphic novels is demonstrated in the sequential format and the regular narratives which have been taped to the edge of the paintings. The story offers a few words of context that, when read in conjunction to the image, provide a running commentary on the aspects of this unusual and troubled life. The works are currently displayed at the Jewish Museum in London.
Visitors will be able to surround themselves in the world of a Nazi-era Jewish person and feel the oppressive nature of the times. Although the story goes into other events that also take place, this is a way of exploring the reality of life and the fact that these people had stories and backgrounds that didn't relate to the main theme we normally think about. The fact that Charlotte Salomon was living a life filled with its own unique blend of drama, including an older lover, goes to show that there are more dimensions to Nazi-era Jewish life than hiding from the authorities.
So many Jewish people and other victimised groups including the mentally ill, the handicapped, and the travelling cultures were brutally murdered and left nothing behind. These treasures that thankfully were kept safe even though their creator was unable to escape must be able to fill the shoes of all those who do not have their voice preserved. Like all people who exist within bygone generations, the voices of the remembered speak for everyone else.
Via The Conversation