NEW YORK, NY.- The The Jewish Museum
presents A Hanukkah Project: Daniel Libeskinds Line of Fire from November 19, 2010 through January 30, 2011. Daniel Libeskind, an international figure in architecture and urban design, has created a bold and dramatic installation featuring 40 Hanukkah lamps from the Museums renowned collection.
Focused on the central ritual of Hanukkah the kindling of flames in commemoration of an ancient victory for religious freedom Libeskinds design interprets Hanukkah through an evocative metaphor for the spiritual power of fire. The Line of Fire, a jagged structure in brilliant red that diagonally bisects the gallery, serves as a pedestal for the Hanukkah lamps, and symbolizes the flames of the lamps lit on the holiday. The irregular lines and angles of the Line of Fire are a recurring feature in Libeskinds work, where they often signify the continuity of Jewish existence through sudden changes in circumstances, some of them catastrophic. A Hanukkah Project: Daniel Libeskinds Line of Fire also includes five quotations by poets and philosophers such as Emily Dickinson and Jacques Derrida.
The selection of Hanukkah lamps exemplifies the diversity of the Museums collection, from an 18th century work made from the helmet shield of a Hessian soldier who fought in the American Revolution, to a 19th century East European silver menorah that was lit by President George W. Bush at the White House, to Karim Rashids 2004 Menoramorph, made from neon green silicon. Also on view is a 1985 Hanukkah lamp by noted architect Richard Meier, who fashioned each candleholder into an architectural representation from significant moments of persecution in Jewish history. Lamps from Austria, Germany, Iraq, Israel, Italy, Morocco, Netherlands, Poland, Russia, Ukraine, and the United States are included ranging from the 17th to the 21st century.
Daniel Libeskind is one of the most important architects working today, celebrated for his ability to infuse innovative design with a strong sense of memory and history. He has designed a multitude of structures, from museums and concert halls to convention centers and universities. His projects include the Jewish museums in Berlin, San Francisco and Denmark, as well as the master plan for the World Trade Center.
Mr. Libeskind worked with Jewish Museum Curator of Archaeology and Judaica, Susan L. Braunstein, a leading authority on Hanukkah lamps, to create the exhibition.