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ARTE: PRUSSIAN BLUE at THE AMERICAS SOCIETY

Friday, February 22, 2013 , Posted by LATINO EVENTS Y TESPIS MAGAZINE at 12:19 PM



Yishai Jusidman (b. Mexico City, 1963) finds in his new series, Prussian Blue, an alternative way to address the meeting of collective memory and aesthetics in order to deal with major concerns of both contemporary memorials and history-based artistic deliverances, as well as with some often overlooked sources that contemporary paintings may exploit. Responding to an ethical imperative inspired by the works of Primo Levi and Claude Lanzmann as a means to focus on issues of representation, memory, and trauma, Jusidman aims to render a truth that asserts his artistic investigation on the complexity of our contemporary visual experience: through a place where the materiality of the medium and the perception of the image collate in the meaning of the picture.
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The source for the fourteen paintings in the Prussian Blue series are photographs showing the architecture of gas chambers at various concentration camps used during World War II. Some were taken soon after the end of the war and others are more recent images of the camps now turned into public memorials. For the development of his pictures, Jusidman used exclusively three coloring materials that overlap the process of painting and the functioning method of the genocidal gas chambers. The first color is the same Prussian blue pigment (ferro cyanide) that unintentionally appeared on the walls of the gas chambers as a by-product of the Zyklon B gas. The artist not only replicates these colored stains in their actual materiality, but also marks his pictures’ settings as a whole in Prussian Blue. The second material is a silicon dioxide powder used for the pellets that delivered the gas to the sealed chambers, with which Jusidman creates the suggestion of a vaporous curtain by introducing it into his painting medium. As a third substance, he selected paints conventionally used for rendering skin tones (i.e. flesh tone, flesh tint, blush, etc.) to refer to the millions murdered within the architecture depicted in his work.

* Prussian Blue – Memory After Representation: Yishai Jusidman > Ends March 23 > Americas Society Gallery in NYC > JUSIDMAN.
* Photo: Haus Der Kunst, 2011; from the series Prussian Blue. Image courtesy of the artist.
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