This year, before the annual Holocaust Remembrance Day, a National Day of Remembrance and Mourning in Israel, and in the threshold of the anniversary of the end of World War II, the Tretyakov Gallery along with the Triumph Gallery, the Embassy of the State of Israel in the Russian Federation and the Israeli Cultural Center "Nativ" open the exhibition of the artist Haim Sokol; the exhibition is dedicated to the memory of the Holocaust victims and fighters against Nazism. The theme of preservation of the memory stands as the most important in modern society, and for any museum, it remains as the primary concern.
In his works, Haim Sokol explores issues of personal and collective memory and mechanisms of its transmission. In his new project, he addresses the more specific topic of the traumatizing memory, related primarily, but not exclusively, to the events of World War II and the Holocaust. Artists questions himself: can the memory of the victim be universal? How to remember what is wanted to be forgotten? What do we do with this memory? The author addresses the topic of alienation, isolation, and broken connections in the modern world. When working with archival materials and personal documents, her reveals episodes of the 20th-century history through the prism of individual fates.
One of the critical concepts of the project is the poetic transformation. Transversion acts as a form of deliverance and as a means of transmitting a direct sensation of trauma at a distance and through generations by "living" the tragedy. In his works, the artist balances on the brink between the Kafka nightmare of forcible transformation into an insect and free mutation as a form of liberation. Thus, the large-scale work Scroll" (2019) with an illustrated on it string of dark, shadow-like faceless characters, is designed not to convey a specific image or event, but only its atmosphere.
Groups of people could be associated with the most various pages of history: the uprising of the Jews in Ancient Rome, the uprising in the Warsaw ghetto or the terrifying actions of the Nazis in Poland.
Haim Sokol continues to search for new forms of conveying ideas and meanings at the junction of various art forms — theatre and performance, visual arts and literature. Within the frameworks of the project "…In A Sense, I Become Them And They Become Me", fifteen works will be presented: a new series of large-format works on fabric, as well as monumental installations "Bird" and "Secret", created by the artist specifically for the exhibition. The exposition will be complemented by a video series based on a series of gouache graphics.