Art and Artists on Being Black and Jewish

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Art and Artists on
Being Black and Jewish

Wednesday, December 2 | 7 PM | Livestream

A dynamic group of Canadian and U.S. artists who identify as Black and Jewish come together for an unparalleled conversation on art and identity hosted by theatre artist, Kendell Pinkney. See and hear the compelling artistic work of Ella Cooper (Toronto), Rebecca S’manga Frank (New York), Sara Yacobi-Harris (Toronto) and Anthony Russell (Acton, MA). As a jumping off point for a lively dialogue, each artist will share projects that explore the intersection of Jewishness and Blackness through film, photography, music and performance. A not-to-be-missed evening of multi-disciplinary art and wide-ranging discussion!

The event will be live captioned. No registration required.

For more information about the event and the artists, click here.

Watch the livestream on Facebook or on FENTSTER’s website.

This online event is curated by Kendell Pinkney (Reboot / Ammud: The JOC Torah Academy) and Evelyn Tauben (FENTSTER), inspired by the current exhibition in Toronto’s FENTSTER window gallery, Witness by Ella Cooper.

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Presented together by FENTSTER, KlezKanada, Museum of Jewish Montreal, The Jewish Theological Seminary, Asylum Arts, Reboot, Miles Nadal JCC, No Silence on Race and Jews of Colour Canada.This event was made possible through the ROI Community Grassroots Events program and participating partners.


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WITNESS

On view 24/7 until January 21, 2021

Presenting a powerful photo series, Witness extends Cooper’s exploration of Blackness through performed images of isolation, longing and grief.

FENTSTER is pleased to debut a never before exhibited photo project by artist Ella Cooper, founder of Black Women Film! and award-winning award-winning cultural leader. In her photo-video work, Cooper uses movement and performance-based techniques to explore identity and reclaim representations of Black bodies. Witness features a self-portrait series, presenting faces of grief through the lens of a mixed race artist of Jewish heritage.

The images were made in one of the many outdoor photo booths across Berlin where the artist was in a residency. The visceral photographs capture Cooper’s performance of her inner emotional state, drawing on techniques of the Japanese dance practice, Butoh that she studied in Berlin, seeking an embodied way to explore the feelings of loss, isolation and displacement evoked by being in a city marked by devastation and Jewish absence. Berlin stirred her formative experiences growing up in Montreal’s Jewish community, being raised within Jewish tradition while feeling outside it. The work – vulnerable and revealing – takes on additional layers of meaning presented in the highly public space of the FENTSTER window, during the solitude of the pandemic when many of us have been forced to face ourselves in unprecedented ways amidst a climate of racial unrest and heightened social inequalities. Refusing to be contained, a world of emotion comes to the surface in the photos – reverberating with philosopher Emmanuel Lévinas’ assertion that, in its particularity and infinity, the human face “demands justice.”

Selected as an Editors’ Pick by Canadian Art Magazine

For more information, please visit: http://fentster.org/#/witness/

FENTSTER is located in the storefront window of the Jewish community, Makom: Creative Downtown Judaism, 402 College Street, Toronto.

Image: Witness by Ella Cooper on view at FENTSTER, 2020. Photo: Morris Lum


ABOUT FENTSTER
Presenting site-specific installations of contemporary art connected to the Jewish experience, FENTSTER (Yiddish for “window”) is an independent, artist-run exhibition space located in the storefront window of Makom: Creative Downtown Judaism. Makom is a diverse, grassroots, downtown Toronto community fusing Jewish tradition and progressive values. FENTSTER projects are on view 24/7 from the sidewalk. FENTSTER is partially accessible. Visitors are requested to maintain physical distancing precautions.

FENTSTER @ Makom
402 College Street, Toronto, ON M5T 1S8
info@fentster.org | www.fentster.org