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  • Holocaust Suite Workshop Outline


    As an artist of humanistic concerns confronted with contemporary culture, Jacob Landau deals frequently with the anguish, despair, and doubts of our time. His often-tormented figureshurled or tossed through space, distorted or stretched seemingly beyond endurance by unseen forcesmay be seen as symbols of man's inhumanity to man or expressions of man's struggle to survive, despite the odds. His images are strong and often difficult; he seeks neither to beguile nor to please by purely aesthetic considerations. He is an artist more interested in content than in the solution of formal problems. Yet the undeniable qualities of beauty and technical excellence command an attention that may not be willingly given to disturbing or painful subjects. (Jacob Landau: The Graphic WorkJanet Flint)

    1. Rationale for Using Jacob Landau's Lithographs as curricular Cornerstones
      1. Wholistic/holistic philosophy of education/ integrated learning
        1. My schooling had taught me as it had so many others to value informationhard knowledge and cold factand to mistrust sensing, feeling, intuition as alternative ways of knowing.
        2. I have based my own art on drawing; in particular, on the human body as a paradigmatic form embodying all human values: unity and multiplicity, individual and community, freedom and order, art and science, life and death, hope and despair, tortured and tormentor.
      2. Citizenship/ Humanity
        1. Another realization …was learning to take risks in order to increase freedom within the society. There must be freedom to create within institutions, freedom to help the government change the institutions, freedom to talk to various colleagues and to develop interdisciplinary connections with them and to make it possible for some of these more integrated forms to evolve.
        2. I am inclined to view art as humanity's survival kit, and the future of living and learning as art-based rather than science-based.
      3. Means to achieve personal and intellectual potential
        1. We forget that ideas are works of art, too. Ideas are like myths. Ideas are paradigms. Ideas are images. Ideas are forms. Ideas are objects, particles fished out in the streams of human experience. Without imagination, without inventiveness, without the ability to conceive hypotheses and proposals, nothing but mechanical operations can be performed.
        2. We need to become more risk-taking and more inclined to be advocates in the sense of informing ourselves, increasing our own learning ability to the point where we can create the new paradigms that are emerging, the new myths that we need and the new society with which to replace the old.
        3. An education is irrelevant if it does not assist in finding and furthering a life purpose.
    2. Holocaust Representation
      1. “To write poetry after Auschwitz is barbaric”—Theodor Adorno
      2. Artistic response to grief—“the desire to keep silent and the desire to speak.”—Aharon Appelfeld
      3. Historic tradition of artistic representation
        1. The Passion of Christ
        2. Goya—Disasters of War
        3. Picasso—Guernica
      4. Goal is to engage viewer in dialogue with essential questions of life
      5. Importance to enrich and expand the historical narrative, without demeaning the victims.
    3. Co-curricular connections:
      1. Visual and Performing Arts:
      2. History and Current Events:
        1. The art experience…is one which helps bring people closer to their centers, which helps them become rooted, which brings them into contact with their forebears, with history, and with the future.
        2. My feeling is that art teachers and artists in general are the vanguard of humanity for survival in this part of the century and into the next. Every time you reach the end of a millennium, you are at a point where either great things or catastrophic things can happen. Because we lack a sense of history and a sense of the wisdom of the ancient paradigms or myths, we tend to experience whatever does happen as unexpected catastrophes.
        3. Dogma
      3. Literature: thematic applications
        1. Myth as art: I think it is very easy to see how when we use the word "myth" nowadays, we tend to use it as a kind of synonym for untruth and we forget the fact that myths were actually works of art. Important myths, which were the basis of all great works of art of ancient societies, somehow underlying almost every work of art that has ever been created, are essentially lost to us in present-day society.
        2. Artists as heroes: We have to have somebody to attach ourselves to, something to make sense out of it all. And the hero comes along, a strong man, perhaps a beautiful man or a woman comes along and makes sense out of things. They put an order to what appears to be totally disorderly or meaningless. And then we adhere to this person. We try to be helpful and loyal, and we give meaning to our lives, even to the extent of giving up our loves, in order to see this hero and his interpretations.