Deborah Sharon Abeles DESSA

Stolzesteine – Stones-of-Pride

Hommage an das Kaufhaus N. Israel, Berlin

Language: German, English
96 pages, hardcover
34 illustrations
ISBN: 978-3-95565-112-1
Publication date: 2015
20.00 €

Ab Oktober 2015: Ausstellung der Künstlerin zu 200 Jahre Kaufhaus Nathan Israel im Mitte Museum Berlin

How can art serve collective Jewish memory? This is a major theme in DESSA’s work. DESSA’s Stolzesteine are small upright stones placed within her pictures. They honour the memory of a person or persons and their lifetime achievements.
She dedicates this series of paintings to mark the 200 years since Nathan Israel opened his store on March 10th 1815, and pays tribute to the philanthropy and social engagement of the firm over four generations. The history of Berlins Kaufhaus N. Israel has been part
of her artistic research since she discovered their 1912 book “Die Hygiene im Wandel der Zeiten” (“Hygiene Throughout the Ages”). DESSA’s first tribute to N. Israel in 2003 was presented at Galerie Bremer in Berlin and the Jewish Museum in Westphalia, and inspired an exhibition on hygiene at Musée de Pully in Switzerland.
DESSA feels disturbed and hurt by the Stolpersteine. They lie flat in pavements to be trampled on and dirtied not only by dust, boots and bicycles, but also by birds, dogs, and cigarettes. People “look down” on them, rather than “looking up” as suggested by the “Stolzesteine”.
Prof. Holt Meyer, inspired by DESSA’s Stolzesteine, wrote her an essay in which he says: “The Stolperstein is amongst other things a New Testament’s image. […] This makes it particularly problematical as a method of commemorating murdered Jews.”


Deborah Sharon Abeles DESSA at Hentrich & Hentrich