January 29, 2014 - Museet for Samtidskunst, Denmark - Black Milk – Holocaust in Contemporary Art
January 29, 2014

Black Milk – Holocaust in Contemporary Art

Piotr Uklanski, The Nazis (detail), 1998.

Black Milk – Holocaust in Contemporary Art
18 January–27 April 2014 

Opening: 17 January, 17h
Literary performance by Kristina Nya Glaffey & Maja Lee Langvad at 18h

Museet for Samtidskunst
Stændertorvet 3D
4000 Roskilde


A concentration camp in Lego, a gold brooch inscribed with Jude and a big pile of bleeding logs are some of the works you will encounter in the exhibition Black Milk – Holocaust in Contemporary Art. Thirteen international artists from Bolivia, Denmark, Israel, Poland, South Africa and the USA focus on the Holocaust in very different ways and from their own cultural background and personal perspective. The works surprise, some are confrontational and others are poetic, and together they raise the question of how a historic event like the Holocaust can or should be dealt with in art today.

The exhibition’s title, Black Milk, comes from the poem “Death Fugue” from 1945, which describes the Romanian author Paul Celan’s own concentration camp experiences. The unexpected coalition of black and milk also reflects the exhibition’s contrasting works and the surprising way in which the artists work with the Holocaust theme. They broach subjects such as victim versus torturer, images of the enemy, demagogy, collective memory and the afterlife in an innovative and sometimes untamed way. The works are surprising and some of them are brash while others are poetic. They use familiar symbols and historical references in fresh contexts that reflect contemporary views on the Holocaust. 

The participating artists, with their varied voices and diverse works, show us why and how the Holocaust still touches us today as a historical trauma and as a symbol for humanity’s crime against itself. Black Milk – Holocaust in Contemporary Art is the first of its kind in Denmark.

The artists: 
Miroslaw Balka (PL), Yvette Brackman (DK), Zoya Cherkassky (IL), Steven Cohen (ZA), Jonathan Horowitz (US), Claudia Joskowicz (BO), Menashe Kadishman (IL), Know Hope (IL), Zbigniew Libera (PL), Tom Sachs (US), Piotr Uklanski (PL), Gitte Villesen (DK), Artur Zmijewski (PL) 

Curators: Natalia Gutman & Mette Truberg Jensen

Contact and press photos:
Curator: Natalia Gutman, nataliag [​at​] samtidskunst.dk / T +46 31 65 80 
Press photos can be downloaded from the museum’s website, samtidskunst.dk, under ‘press’

Sponsored by: 
Augustinus Fonden / Konsul George Jorck og Hustru Emma Jorck’s Fond / Statens Kunstråd, Det Internationale Billedkunstudvalg / Grosserer L.F. Foghts Fond / Interkulturelt Center Jubilæumsfonden / Fredsfonden / Kamma & Harald Melchiors Fond / The Polish Embassy in Denmark / The Israeli Embassy in Denmark / DIIS, Dansk Institut for Internationale Studier


Museet for Samtidskunst presents Black Milk – Holocaust in Contemporary Art
Museet for Samtidskunst, Denmark
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