“Above the ashes.” New temporary exhibition at the Auschwitz Museum
“Above the ashes” is the title of a temporary exhibition by the French author Alexandra Bellamy which to 10 March will be presented at Auschwitz Museum in the temporary exhibition hall in block 12.
;The exhibition is made up of three parts. The first is a series of 28 photographs entitled “Les absents” created in buildings that are closed to everyday visitors to the Auschwitz Memorial Site. “These spaces are empty and untouched. Here only the complete silence co-exist with the aura of those missing,” said the author.;
The photographs were also taken in the Museum’s restoration workshops. “The specialists take care of every single object: whether it is a shoe, fork or suitcase. They are often covered by a protective cloth and when I was discovering them, I had the feeling of lifting a shroud. Here, each object is a symbolic representation of the child, woman or man who used them,” added Alexandra Bellamy.
“The Nazis sowed grass and planted trees. Silence remains, along with a few material traces. They can be found. Alexandra Bellamy tries to understand them. The photographer approaches their colors and lights, close up or from afar. She examines them, finding shapes, harmonies and tears. The absence of these victims seizes us. She searches for the meaning of these places and their dead. She knows they are gone. She speaks of their dignity. She remembers,” wrote Jean-Yves Potel in the introductory text to the exhibition.
The second part is a short film made on the grounds of the former German Nazi camps: Auschwitz-Birkenau, Bełżec, Kulmhof (Chełmno by the Ner River), Majdanek and in Sobibór. In very simple scenes, Alexandra Bellamy shows how the natural world comes into historical material space. “I tackled this work on the German Nazi extermination camps in Poland without knowing from the starting point neither what I was exactly looking for nor what I was going to find. I was drenched by doubts. Little by little I discovered that this death territory was also a life sanctuary and that this dialectic could enrich it,” said Bellamy. The images are accompanied by the original sounds recorded in places that the author visited.
The third part of the exhibition is the work of Valentine Fournier which commemorate Alexandra Bellamy's great-uncle, Prosper Aziza, murdered in Auschwitz in 1943.
The exhibition can be viewed in block 12 from Monday to Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m..