Örjan Henriksson, Auschwitz Building IV, 2012

Örjan Henriksson, Auschwitz Building IV, 2012

During the month of April, the Gordon Jewish Community Center’s (GJCC) Sig Held Gallery will debut the works of noted international photographer Örjan Henriksson of Sweden. On April 28, as part of Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day, Akiva School will host a collaborative performance by Örjan Henriksson and the Dance Theatre of Tennessee.

The exhibit, titled Auschwitz KZ I-II, consists of thirteen stark, black-and-white images made during a trip to the notorious camp. Henriksson spent days wandering the camp trying to get a feel for the horrors that transpired. He is quick to point out that his work is not meant to be a documentary, but rather a work of fine art that uses light and composition to capture the textures of the surfaces.

Henriksson wrote, “The surfaces speak their own messages. It is my hope that the photographs draw the viewer closer and ask the viewer to look and listen to the messages these surfaces convey. In this way, I hope to honor those who have suffered and died in this indescribable horror and insanity.”

During long hours alone in the camp, Henriksson was overwhelmed by the silence and wondered what sort of sounds came out of the camp. He commissioned his friend Pär Gunnarsson to write a piece to be played on the cello, “the instrument closest to the human voice.”

Dance Theatre of Tennessee (DTT) will perform dance movements based on Henriksson’s haunting photographs and Pär’s composition to commemorate Yom HaShoah. Presenting different vignettes with the art and music directing the narrative, DTT hopes to inspire reflection on this significant time in history.

Auschwitz KZ I-II will be on view at the GJCC Sig Held Gallery during the month of April. The performance by DTT will take place on April 28 at 7 p.m. at Akiva School. A reception and artist’s talk will follow from 7:30 to 9 p.m. at GJCC. For more information, please visit www.nashvillejcc.org.

Dancers Brian Williamson and Jennifer Drake. Photograph by Martin O’Connor

Dancers Brian Williamson and Jennifer Drake. Photograph by Martin O’Connor

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