Materializing examines the artistic practices of contemporary Polish artists addressing themes of memory and the material traces of the Holocaust. The Shoah has been present in Polish visual culture since the 1940s—initially in films, paintings, graphic works, and sculpture, and later in installations, videos, and performances. Such works result from a variety of creative processes—documentation, commemoration, and expressions of sorrow and anger, but also those focused on ritual, the politicized representation of events and individuals, and the manipulation of collective memory.
The artists Zuzanna Hertzberg, Elżbieta Janicka & Wojciech Wilczyk, Paweł Kowalewski, Agnieszka Mastalerz, Natalia Romik, Wilhelm Sasnal, and Artur Żmijewski & Zofia Waślicka-Żmijewska address the multitude of gaps and voids, both material and immaterial, created by the loss of almost the entire Jewish population of Poland. The title of this exhibition refers both to the process of confronting the material evidence of past crimes and to that of identifying the traces of life that no one can any longer embrace.