The SFAD JCB Gallery is mounting the exhibit – “Open Doors: Images, Memories & Translations” at the HZB Hall on January 27, 2020, as part of the International Holocaust Remembrance Day hosted by the Philippine Women’s University, in cooperation with the Embassy of Israel.
The concept of the exhibition appropriates the iconic “Diary of Anne Frank” (the chronicles of a German Jewish girl who had recounted her experiences during the Nazi regime in Germany) – via the allegorical lens of a PWU alumna, Margot Cassel Pins Kestenbaum, a Holocaust survivor who came to the Philippines through President Manuel Quezon’s “Open Door” Policy.
By way of a metaphor, the exhibit alludes to the convergence points of memories, both the personal and the collective – in remembering shared experiences on the horrors of war. The curatorial direction starts through a simulated visual journal of Ms. Kestenbaum, based on her personal accounts during her stay in the Philippines, her poignant recollection of leaving Germany in 1938 and her ‘coming back’ visits to the Philippines and PWU in 2015 & 2020.
With the unfolding of her own sojourn and experiences, parallel translations were juxtaposed with the selected works of some artist alumni and the Arts & Design track students of PWU Senior High. By integrating and articulating on the exhibition’s three components – Images, Memories & Translations, the visual narrative can be interpreted to reiterate significant lessons learned from the war, especially the Holocaust; a vivid symbol of the biggest moral collapse in history. As we ponder on the momentous occasion this 2020, we pause… “To remember… never to forget.”