Over 60 years since it took place, the Holocaust is still the darkest stain on contemporary European history, and its effects upon the world’s Jewish community are still felt to this day. Mancunian artist Gary Spicer was raised in the orthodox Jewish area in Cheetham Hill, with a Jewish father and non-Jewish mother, which in accordance with orthodox Jewish law made him a non-Jew too born to a shiksa. Though an outsider from birth he felt an affinity with the Jewish community, through geography and his father, and even more due to the fact the Jews themselves were seen as outsiders, especially in Nazi Germany. In exploring the Holocaust, Spicer embarks on a personal search for self-identification and belonging due to his own ‘hybridist’ background. His work acknowledges the gap between those who suffered the Holocaust and the rest of us who could never fathom the effect such atrocities would have first hand. An exhibition of his drawings, photographs and visceral writings are on show in response to his visits to Auschwitz-Birkenau and Plaszow concentration camps, showing the dehumanisation the Jewish public faced and haunting shadow that looms over the area. A powerful exhibition for those of all faiths.

Sun 26 Jan – Sun 9 Mar, Manchester Jewish Museum, 190 Cheetham Hill Road, M8 8LW. Tel: 0161 830 1431, Sun – Thu 10am – 4pm, Fri 10am – 1pm, £3.95/£2.95 (including museum entry), mjm.org.uk

Sun 26 Jan - Sun 9 Mar
John Stansfield
Published on:
Fri 10 Jan 2014