Photographer Loli Kantor unveils new exhibit on Eastern European Jewish Life
Posted: September 30, 2011
The Schusterman Center for Jewish Studies invites you to an upcoming exhibit of photographer Loli Kantor’s work at Austin’s B. Hollyman Gallery. Kantor, a longtime friend of the Center, will unveil “And If A Voice Was Heard,” a collection of photographs of Eastern European Jewish life. She will also participate in an October 5 panel discussion featuring Professor Robert H. Abzug, Director of the Schusterman Center for Jewish Studies, and Rabbi Neil Blumofe of Congregation Agudas Achim.
Kantor has long demonstrated a commitment to the Schusterman Center for Jewish Studies: Last year, she gave a lecture at the Ransom Center on her exhibit “There Was a Forest: Photographs of Jewish Life in Eastern Europe Today.” Next year she will contribute to the Center’s symposium on Terezin.
Loli Kantor: And If A Voice Was Heard
October 4 – November 12, 2011
Opening Reception: Thursday, October 6, 6:00 to 8:00pm
Artist Talk: Thursday, October 13, 6:00pm
Loli Kantor reminds us of the power of the photograph; the life it breathes, the destruction it stills. In her solo exhibition, ‘And If A Voice Was Heard’, Kantor shows us a collection of images anchored in history, loss and survival. Balanced by a personal exploration of her own roots, Kantor documents the complexities and remnants of Jewish life in Eastern Europe after the Holocaust and a tumultuous century of the rise and fall of the Soviet regime.
In 2004, Kantor traveled to Krakow, Poland to participate in a reclamation project in Plaszow, a former Nazi labor camp. It was here she began researching the whereabouts of her immediate family, many of whom had perished during the Holocaust. What ensued was a journey into Eastern Europe’s narrative of destruction, death, absence and grief, revealed to her along the many trips she took to Czech Republic, Poland and Ukraine over the next three years. Using a variety of camera formats, the works were created in black and white and printed in gelatin silver. They are a poignant archive of survivors, empty synagogues, dilapidated monuments, and the faces, hands and homes of a generation old and new. Within a body of work so resonant with memory and what once was, Kantor also asks us to imagine what is to come.
Born in Paris to Polish parents, both who had survived the Holocaust, Kantor was raised in Tel Aviv, Israel. Her photography has been exhibited widely in the United States, and internationally in China, Ukraine, Poland, Spain, and Czech Republic. This past year she was named one of the top 50 photographers in PhotoLucida’s Critcal Mass Competition and is a 2010 New Orleans’ PhotoNOLA Review prize winner. She lives and works in Fort Worth, Texas.
Robert Abzug, Director of Schusterman Center for Jewish Studies at the University of Texas at Austin says of Kantor’s work: “Memory and hope are visible in the moving and surprising scenes of daily life among the revived Jewish communities of Poland and Ukraine.”
Anne Helmreich, Director of Baker-Nord Center for the Humanites at Case Western Reserve University writes: "How do we remember the past? What is the relationship between the past and place? If the past can be written to a place, how can the future concomitantly be projected? Who should be the narrator for this past, present, and future? These questions are provoked by Loli Kantor's body of work...this ability to transport us to become the living witness to the scene is both the gift of photography and the focus of Loli Kantor's quest for the authentic response to a place.”
1202-A West Sixth Street, Austin, Texas 78703 (Located adjacent to Wally Workman Gallery)
Gallery hours: Tuesday-Saturday 10-5, or by appointment.
Visit www.bhollymangallery.com to view more of Kantor's work.