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The Warsaw Voice » Culture » May 27, 2011
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Nazis, Death and Provocative Art
May 27, 2011   
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The last days of the Third Reich as seen through the eyes of Adolf Hitler, a child turned into a doll by an evil father, and the world as seen from beyond the grave by the “dynamic dead.” All this is the handiwork of Roee Rosen, a painter, writer, and filmmaker who has a reputation as Israel’s most intellectually provocative artist.

The exhibition The Dynamic Dead Roee Rosen now showing at the Center for Contemporary Art encapsulates two decades of the artist’s output and presents key works from his oeuvre.

The art world first stood up and took notice of Rosen in 1997 when his work Live and Die as Eva Braun beckoned the viewer to enter the body of Hitler’s lover Eva Braun and assume her point of view. This literary and visual installation comprises 66 paintings on paper and 10 segments of text. The paintings and the text are arranged to form a virtual reality survival scenario.

The artist approaches the viewer as a prospective purchaser and presents this experience as the ultimate in entertainment. The final days of World War II are seen as Braun witnessed them in a bunker in burning Berlin.

Apart from Eva Braun, Rosen is exhibiting Justine Frank 1900-1943 and Confessions, two more narratives where fact and fiction are blurred. The first of these includes paintings and graphics and is accompanied by archive and documentary film footage. Justine Frank is a fictional interwar Jewish Belgian surreal artist that Rosen invented. Confessions is a film project that takes the form of a final confession of an artist who has announced his imminent death. Rosen’s confession is delivered by three women working in Israel as illegal immigrants from Bulgaria, India and Ghana. The actresses learn their parts by heart as they have no knowledge of Hebrew.

The fourth project, Hilarious, is a film made in the convention of TV stand-up comedy. The work experiments with dysfunctional humor and explores potential situations in which we are forced to laugh even when there is nothing to laugh about.

The exhibition includes the painting series Frosted Self Portraits, Martyr’s Paintings and The Funeral Paintings. Here, the viewer is invited to see the world from the perspective of a dead artist.

Rosen grapples with the subject of death in his work. Death here is to be understood in both its physical sense and its place in the past, in memory, and in history.

Open until July 3
Ujazdowski Castle Center for Contemporary Art, 2 Jazdów St., Warsaw
Tue.-Sun. noon to 7 p.m., Fri. noon to 9 p.m.
Free admission on Thursdays
For more information phone (48) 22 628 127 13 or go to www.csw.art.pl
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