February 11–June 15, 2010
Our Struggle: Responding to Mein Kampf, the extraordinary exhibition in its first North American showing, is based on the collective artwork and book, Notre Combat (Our Struggle). The book and exhibition are the result of French painter and photographer, Linda Ellia’s, encounter with a copy of Mein Kampf in 2005.
The book’s weight in her hands embodied the heaviness of the Holocaust; she felt compelled to respond. After personally altering a number of the pages to express her anger, she invited hundreds of people from all over the world to paint, draw, sculpt, and collage directly on the pages of the book.
On view in the exhibition are 600 of these altered pages from a multitude of participants from artists, writers, poets, musicians, film makers, journalists, victims, students, and Jews from as many as 17 different countries. The hundreds of pages in the exhibition offer a remarkable display of different artistic styles and present a multiplicity of voices and perspectives ranging from angry to mournful to hopeful. Creativity emerges from tragedy in this riveting exhibition of the altered pages, reminding us that the hatred, bigotry, intolerance, and discrimination inscribed in Hitler’s book must never be repeated.
Also On View
The documentary L’Art et la Maniere (English subtitles, narrated by Linda Ellia), along with a selection of snapshots taken of the participants while they worked, chronicles the making ofNotre Combat.
There is also is a resource room developed in partnership with the Holocaust Center of Northern California that provides visitors with more information about the publication history of Mein Kampf and the rise of Nazism in Germany.
Our Struggle: Responding to Mein Kampf has been organized by the Contemporary Jewish Museum with the generous support of the Jewish Community Federation Holocaust Memorial Education Fund, the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in the United States and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.