Jewish museum exhibit depicts evil in its many forms

 

The Jewish Museum of Florida-FIU has opened a traveling exhibit that addresses the many faces of inhumanity.

“Evil: A Matter of Intent” displays works by more than 35 artists and depicts atrocities such as genocide, torture and slavery. Among the works on display: a photograph of the smoldering Twin Towers, a bronze-and-glass sculpture symbolizing the anti-Jewish pogroms of Kristallnacht and sketches of the homeless. Scattered between the professional pieces are crayon drawings by children who directly experienced the terror camps in Darfur.

“Evil is not a cosmic accident,” said the New York-based curator of the original exhibit, Laura Kruger. “It does not just happen. Evil is a deliberate action or inaction. Evil is the violation of our common humanity.”

Themes of indifference and denial surface alongside those of bullying and cruelty. Handcuffs and a costume used by the KKK are among artifacts that establish a chilling atmosphere for what should be an uncomfortable experience for the viewer.

“This exhibition is timely and powerful,” said Susan Gladstone, the museum’s acting executive director. “These artists tackle issues we are all confronting right now, at this juncture in history. They bring evil to light from a multitude of shadowy angles, capturing historical events and expressing outrage. They leave us, the viewers, to our own responses – and possibly to our own personal calls to action.”

On loan from the Hebrew Union College Jewish Institute of Religion in New York, the Miami version of “Evil: A Matter of Intent” was created by Jacqueline Goldstein, the curator at the Jewish Museum of Florida-FIU, 301 Washington Ave., Miami Beach. The exhibit runs through October 1, 2017.


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