Performances

On Friendship/(Collateral Damage) IV How to Explain Hare Hunting to a Dead German Artist


[The usefulness of continuous measurement of the distance between Nostalgia and Melancholia]
(September 2021 - December 2022)
A critical project concerning post-war artist Joseph Beuys Created by Joseph Sassoon Semah, curator Linda Bouws © Stichting Metropool Internationale Kunstprojecten

Project
'On Friendship / (Collateral Damage) IV -How to Explain Hare Hunting to a Dead German Artist [The usefulness of continuous measurement of the distance between Nostalgia and Melancholia]' ('Hasenjagd' is the code word for killing Jews during World War II) centers on Joseph Beuys and Joseph Sassoon Semah takes us on a journey of critical analysis of Beuys. Linda Bouws is the curator.
Art cannot be seen disengaged from society - which political, social and cultural implications does Joseph Beuys' work show us? How do work and politics relate in Beuys' work, what is myth and what is reality? Did Beuys free art of power and financial gain or did he use his art with the purpose to forget or idealize his own war history and that of Germany? Does his transformation from perpetrator to victim fit into post-war Germany? How did Beuys use his 'visual codes', that have disappeared, and secret symbols? How must we interpret Beuys in this celebratory year 2021?

 

 

Joseph Sassoon Semah, has done extensive research into Joseph Beuys' work, values and ideas and based on this research and texts he will analyse the deeper meaning of the (secret) symbols used by Joseph Beuys for 'On Friendship / (Collateral Damage) IV- How to Explain Hare Hunting to a Dead German Artist [The usefulness of continuous measurement of the distance between Nostalgia and Melancholia]'. He will react to them using new monumental sculptures and a series of old and new drawings, performances, texts and meetings.
This project wants to raise public awareness about the missing information on Joseph Beuys. Information that has been disregarded during this celebratory year or has been evaded to avoid uncomfortable confrontations. A new project about the reading of Beuys' 'shrouded' art by the Jewish-Babylonian artist Joseph Sassoon Semah. We will cooperate with among others with Gerard-Marcks-Haus Bremen, Landgoed Nardinclant/Amsterdam Garden, Goethe-Institut Amsterdam, Duitsland Instituut Amsterdam, Lumen Travo Gallery, Redstone Natuursteen & Projecten, and The Maastricht Institute for the Arts. After completion of the manifestation a complementary publication will be compiled.

The project is realised in part with the support of Mondriaan Fund, the public fund for visual art and cultural heritage and Redstone Natuursteen & Projecten.
  

GOETHE-INSTITUT AMSTERDAM, Herengracht 470, Amsterdam 28 October 2021, 20.00 pm,
Performance and Meeting Mati Shemoelof (Poet, Author, Editor, Journalist, Berlin & Joseph Sassoon Semah, EN

Discussion about the creative activities of Joseph Beuys adhere to Eurocentric culture in general and to post-war German culture in particular. And yet, what will happen when two Iraqi Jews, i.e. Babylonian Jews - who live in two European capitals, Berlin and Amsterdam, respectively - decided to deconstruct Beuys's post war art production. Could we give these two guests who became our host free speech,and should we listen to their desire to reclaim the Jewish Babylonian tradition from Joseph Beuys's art? Most of the research on Joseph Beuys artistic activity has been generated by theories concerning Eurocentric culture, values and experiences, however this time we have the opportunity to hear other voices, a different reading that criticizes Beuys' work.

GOETHE-INSTITUT AMSTERDAM, Herengracht 470, Amsterdam 11 November 2021, 20.00 pm, Performance and Meeting Joseph Sassoon Semah & Rick Vercauteren Joseph Sassoon Semah On Joseph Beuys and Wolf Vostell: Zwischen Dichtung und Wahrheit, EN

Joseph Beuys manifested himself post-war as the new Messiah, as a healer, as a shaman for the Germans, to free himself as perpetrator and free the Germans of their guilt. Vostell embodies the victim and claims to embody the German guilt, to fill the vacuum that the genocide left behind. Wolf Vostell claimed since the early 1950's that his mother was a Sephardic Jew. However, it wasn't until many years later that scholars began to inquire about Wolf's 'fabricated' autobiography. Joseph Sassoon Semah and Rick Vercauteren will focus on the German artist duo Joseph Beuys and Wolf Vostell.

LUMEN TRAVO GALLERY
Lijnbaansgracht 314, Amsterdam
Joseph Sassoon Semah - solo exhibition On Friendship / (Collateral Damage) IV - 15 January - 17 February 2022

On March the 12th 2022, the artist and his friends have perform the new piece "I Am the Resistance".
"CORRIDORS" text PDF...
I AM THE RESISTANCE
....every year I am born anew
in the ninth month
my mother groans less loudly
while each year my groans
sound more anguished
an old fool will never believe that
I give my story my own voice
my own speechless voice
in the midst of the crowd
to the last drop of ink

ADIEU
flowers and babies
that's my address
a picture on the wall

"...We only know that there is no escape from Language - yet which all of us can trace to its source.
But also, without a doubt - the existence of the Guest emphasizes particularly when he is in close proximity to the impulse of Joseph Beuys to represent himself as a post-war Victim, as an Artist, and finally as a certain Redeemer and Healer."
Performance: Joseph Sassoon Semah with friends: Baruch Abraham, Masja Austen, Peter Baren, Jom Semah

MAARTEN LUTHER KERK, Dintelstraat 134, Amsterdam
15 mei 2022, aanvang 15.30 uur, Opening Tentoonstelling, Performance en Bijeenkomst

In het werk van kunstenaar Joseph Beuys is de christelijke iconografie een van de belangrijkste thema's, met name de Christus impuls.
Hij gebruikt objecten die staan voor het geestelijke zoeken, de moderne devotie: de crucifix, een wandelstok, een vogel, een haas.
Door te lijden ontstaat het vermogen tot scheppingskracht "kunst is een geestelijke act die telkens opnieuw moet gebeuren."
Beuys werd sterk beïnvloed door de antroposoof Rudolf Steiner, "Christus-ich Kraft". Voor Steiner was de fysieke incarnatie van Jezus aan het begin van de tijdrekening een eenmalige gebeurtenis.
Steiner noemt dit de 'Christus impuls' en 'het mysterie van Golgotha'.

Welk Christusbeeld had Beuys voor ogen? Hoe verhoudt zijn Christusbeeld zich tot zijn kunst?
Welke invloed had Steiner op zijn werk?
Hoe reflecteert Joseph Sassoon Semah in zijn kunstwerken op Joseph Beuys?
Hoe kijkt Andres Wöhle naar Beuys, Steiner en Joseph Sassoon Semah?

 

ON FRIENDSHIP... / OVER VRIENDSCHAP...
(31 oktober 2020 t/m 19 september 2021)

Kunstmuseum Den Haag, Stadhouderslaan 41, 2517 HV  Den Haag

On Friendship ... will for the first time bring together 36 architectural models of houses, a synagogue, schools and cultural buildings made by Sassoon Semah that refer to the liberal Jewish culture of his Babylonian ancestors - a culture which, he says, barely exists except in memory now.

Joseph Sassoon Semah, 'The Last Mystical Walk' july 19, 2021, Kunstmuseum Den Haag, performance

On Friendship / (Collateral Damage) III - The Third GaLUT: Baghdad, Jerusalem, Amsterdam
The Guest becomes Host
September 7th 2019 - January 19th 2020, 36 locations

Metropool International Art Projects Curator: Linda Bouws

'On Friendship/(Collateral Damage) III - The Third GaLUT: Baghdad, Jerusalem, Amsterdam' is an aesthetic and poetic research into the cities Baghdad, Jerusalem and Amsterdam, which has been conceived by artist Joseph Sassoon Semah and curated by Linda Bouws (Metropool International Art Projects). All these cities are said to have been tolerant at some time in their history, but how does that relate to 'otherness' and what does it mean today?
The project focuses on two lines of thought.
The first is what Semah called 'The Third GaLUT', the third Exile, a metaphor for disconnectedness.
The second is 'The Guest', he who is allowed to live and work in a foreign context tests his surroundings the very moment he articulates his particular position in exile without any reservations.
The Guest becomes Host.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photos architectural models: Ilya Rabinovich

On Friendship / (Collateral Damage) III - The Third GaLUT: Baghdad, Jerusalem, Amsterdam
The Guest becomes Host
September 7th 2019 - January 19th 2020

Location:
Lumen Travo Gallery Lijnbaansgracht 314, AMSTERDAM
Date:
September 7th - October 26th 2019
Exhibition, performance, opening
'On Friendship/(Collateral Damage) III -  The Third GaLUT: Baghdad, Jerusalem, Amsterdam',
September 7th, 17.00 hrs.

Host:
Marianne van Tilborg
Architectural models:
Architectural model based on Meir Tweig Synagogue of Hacham (Chief Rabbi) Sassoon Kadoori, who was the president of the Babylonian Jewish community in Baghdad, Iraq, 2019 Bronze, 10 ShOFaROT, 70x30x33cm
Architectural model based on a Railway Station, Baghdad, Iraq (1928), 2019

Exhibition:
Drawings from the new series 'On Friendship/(Collateral Damage) III - The Third GaLUT: Baghdad, Jerusalem, Amsterdam', paintings, sculptures. Lumen Travo Gallery, the gallery of Joseph Sassoon Semah, was the home of the entire event.
Performance:
Joseph Sassoon Semah, Baruch Abraham, Peter Baren, Zuhal Gezik and Jom Semah.

Location:
Goethe-Institut Herengracht 470, AMSTERDAM
Date:
September 12th - October 18th 2019
Exhibition, performance and lecture, September 12th, 20.00 hrs.
Host:
Mikko Fritze and Helga Marx
Architectural model:
Architectural model based on a photo taken in early 1930 of a house in Baghdad's Jewish quarter - 2019
Exhibition:
Drawing from the series 'On Friendship/(Collateral Damage) III - The Third GaLUT: Baghdad, Jerusalem, Amsterdam' - 2018 and installation.
Performance:
Joseph Sassoon Semah, Baruch Abraham, Levent Aslan and Zuhal Gezik with six students Aslan Muziekcentrum, Atousa Bandeh, Peter Baren, Mikko Fritze, Dali Heymann, Uzi Heymann, Jom Semah, Yvonne Strang and Els Wijnen.
Keynote speech:
Dr. Yael Almog (Goethe University, Frankfurt): East-West GaLUT.
The lecture explored the presentation of the East in the works of the great German poet Johann Wolfgang von Goethe - particularly in his major work on Eastern aesthetics, the West-Östlicher Divan. In Divan, Goethe depicts the possibility of cultural exchange through art between the East and the West. What was the meaning of this vision in Goethe's time? How can we understand the West-Östlicher Divan in light of contemporary polemics on migrants and refugees? The Israeli migration to Western Europe was presented as a unique case study to examine the contemporary validity of Goethe's vision.

Location:
Museum Hedendaagse Kunst De Domijnen Ligne 5, SITTARD
Date:
October 20th 2019 - February 16th 2020
Architectoral model, performance, 2 meetings, and solo exhibition Joseph Sassoon Semah: opening October 11th, 13.00 hrs.
Host:
Roel Arkesteijn
Architectural model:
Architectural model based on a photo taken in early 1930 of a house in Baghdad's Jewish quarter - 2019
Performance:
Joseph Sassoon Semah, Pastoor Jack Geudens, Lucas Debraux (violist), Roel Arkesteijn, Masja Austen, Peter Baren, Bülent Evren, Albert Groot, Els van der Ham-Goertz, Peter van der Ham, Mariana Poussart, Jom Semah, Adjel Soer, Yvonne Strang, Els Wijnen. Exhibition:
A large retrospective with works of art by Joseph Sassoon Semah: 'Being Touched by an Angel Just Before Birth.' Curator: Roel Arkesteijn. Meetings:
in De Domijnen and Podium Babel (20th October 2019, January 26th 2020).

Location:
Oude Lutherse Kerk Singel 411, AMSTERDAM
Date:
October 13th - November 10th 2019
Architectoral model, performance and meeting: October 13th, 12.15 hrs.
Host:
Andreas Wöhle, president Evangelisch-Lutherse Synode in the Protestantse Kerk
Architectural model:
Architectural model based on a photo taken in early 1930 of a house in Baghdad's Jewish quarter - 2019
Performance:
'Yusuf, Yosef, Joseph' with Joseph Sassoon Semah, Andreas Wöhle, Mudar Adas, Piano: Uzi Heymann Violin: Ada Berghuis and public.
Meeting:
Joseph Sassoon Semah and Mudar Adas (Syria) discussed what being exiled means to them, hosted by Andreas Wöhle

Location:
Podium Mozaïek Bos en Lommerweg 191, AMSTERDAMM
Date:
October 17th - November 17th 2019
Architectural model, performance and meeting: October 17th, 19.30 hrs.
Host:
Zafer Yurdakul
Architectural model:
Architectural model based on the Tomb of Ezra in al-Uzayr - 2019
Performance:
Joseph Sassoon Semah, Mudar Adas, Levent Aslan, Zuhal Gezik and six students Aslan Muziekcentrum, Uzi Heymann, Anna Seidl, Jom Semah, Yvonne Strang, Rick Vercauteren, Els Wijnen.
Lecture:
Rick Vercauteren, art historian/publicist 'Architecture in GaLUT' Joseph Sassoon Semah translates his cultural and visual heritage and its subtext into contemporary art. While doing so he reassesses and redefines lost heritages. Dialogue between Vercauteren and artist Joseph Sassoon Semah.

Location:
Hermitage Amsterdam Nieuwe Keizersgracht 1, AMSTERDAM
Date:
November 2nd - December 2nd 2019
Architectural model, house MaKOM in MaKOM on the bleachfield, performance, opening Night of the Museum 2 November, 19.00 hrs.
Host:
Paul Mosterd and Dave Laaper
Architectural model:
Architectural model based on a photo taken in early 1930 of a house in Baghdad's Jewish quarter - 2019
MaKOM in MaKOM
Joseph Sassoon Semah has built 'temporary houses' in various parts of the world since 1979 as a reminder of his GaLUT. The other house MaKOM in MaKOM that is part of the project 'On Friendship/ Collateral Damage) III - The Third GaLUT: Baghdad, Jerusalem, Amsterdam' was placed in the Jerusalem Biennale (October 15th - November 28th). Location: The Jerusalem Biennale 2019, For Heaven's Sake! Exhibition location: Name Kol HaOt in Huzot Hayotzer in Jerusalem
Performance:
Performace by Joseph Sassoon Semah, Baruch Abraham, Mudar Adas, Masja Austen, Peter Baren, Uzi Heymann, Levent Aslan and Zuhal Gezik with six students Aslan Muziekcentrum, Renée Hartog, Hedie Meyling, Dirk Polak, Anna Seidl, Jom Semah, Emile Schrijver, Yvonne Strang and Els Wijnen.

Location:
Vrijmetselaars Stichting Amsterdam Vondelstraat 39, AMSTERDAM
Date:
November 3rd - December 1st 2019
Architectural model, performance and meeting November 3rd, 2019, 14.00 hrs.
Host:
Jan (W) Treffers and Max Gerschtanowitz
Architectural model:
Architectural model based on a photo taken in early 1930 of a house in Baghdad's Jewish quarter - 2019
Performance:
Joseph Sassoon Semah, Baruch Abraham, Mudar Adas, Masja Austen, Peter Baren, Bülent Adas, Dirk Polak, Jom Semah, Emile Schrijver and Jan W.Treffens.
Meeting:
Joseph Sassoon Semah and Jan W. Treffers (La PAIX lodge) played chess and reflected on the sources and the use of symbols and the never completed process of building the Second Temple of King Solomon.

Location:
Locus Solus (Artist in Practise) Oudezijds Voorburgwal 131, AMSTERDAM
Date:
November 16th - December 14th 2019
Architectural model, exhibition Joseph Sassoon Semah, Franck Gribling and Peter Baren, performance and meeting.
Host:
Franck Gribling
Architectural model:
Architectural model based on a photo taken in early 1930 of a house in Baghdad's Jewish quarter - 2019
Performance:
action by franck gribling: Confrontation II - 'On Friendship/(Collateral Damage) III - The Third GaLUT: Baghdad, Jerusalem, Amsterdam'
Meeting:
Discussion about the role of Alternative Artists Spaces in the past and present. Moderated by Albert van der Weide. Participants: Joseph Sassoon Semah (Stichting MaKOM), franck gribling (City Thoughts Foundation and Locus Solus), ieke Trinks (performance and visual artist), Arnisa Zego (RONGWRONG), Peter Baren (independent Performing Artist) and Martin Uit den Bogaard (De Branderij, Antwerpen).

Location:
Kunstenaarssociëteit Arti et Amicitiae Rokin 112, 1012 LB AMSTERDAM
Date:
December 3rd 2019 - January 6th 2020
Architectural model, exhibition, performance and meeting: December 3rd, 2019, 16.30 hrs.
Host:
Renée Hartog
Architectural model:
Architectural model based on a photo taken in early 1930 of a house in Baghdad's Jewish quarter - 2019
Meeting:
Home no more home to me, whither must I wander? (music Ralph Vaughan)
Jowa I. Kis-Jovak and his guests spoke about being in exile, being an emigrant and carrying a mix of cultural identities. A conversation about house, home, place, integration, assimilation and friendship.

Performance:
Joseph Sassoon Semah, Baruch Abraham, Peter Baren, Bülent Evren, Renée Hartog and Uzi Heymann.
Meeting:
As early as 1993, Joseph Sassoon Semah organized 'The Third Exile' in Arti and Amicitiae. Interview Renée Hartog (cultural diplomat/political scientist) with Joseph Sassoon Semah: 'What does GaLUT (Exile) mean then and now?'

Location:
Joods Historisch Museum Nieuwe Amstelstraat 1, AMSTERDAM
Date:
December 19th 2019 - January 19th 2020
Architectural model, exhibition, performance and meeting January 16th, 14.00 hrs.
Host:
Prof. Dr. Emile Schrijver
Architectural model:
Architectural model based on a mass grave for the slaughtered Jew of Baghdad i.e, 'Farhud' (1st and 2nd of June 1941). Al Zwara Cinema, Baghdad - 2019
Architectural model based on Meir Tweig Synagogue of Hacham (Chief Rabbi) Sassoon Kadoori, who was the president of the Babylonian Jewish community in Baghdad, Iraq - 2019
Bronze, 10 ShOFaROT, 70x30x33cm

Exhibition:
In 'On Friendship/(Collateral Damage) III - The Third GaLUT: Baghdad, Jerusalem, Amsterdam' Sassoon Semah placed two identical objects of 'The City of Shelter/Refuge' at two different locations. One at the Jewish Historical Museum under direction of his friend Emile Schrijver (Public Space) and the other in Redstone Natuursteen & Projecten in the office of his friend Yasin Kalac (Private Space) The shape of the objects is based on a childhood memory: the public entrance to a bomb shelter in Tel Aviv. The public space and the private space are connected to one another by "an invisible black square, an invisible territory, a frame of mind, a spatial place, a void, to remind us of the idea of 'The City of Shelter'/Refuge'.
Performance:
Joseph Sassoon Semah, Baruch Abraham, Mudar Adas, Masja Austen, Peter Baren, Bülent Evren, Ari Hartog, Uzi Heymann, Arantxa Marchant, Anastasia Kozolova, Emile Schrijver, Jom Semah, Yvonne Strang.
Meeting:
Emile Schrijver Managing (director Jewish Cultural Quarter), Arie Hartog (director Gerhard-Marcks-Haus, Bremen), and artist Joseph Sassoon Semah about the need for diversity in Judaism. A meeting about the necessary reorientation of heritage in museums.

On Friendship / (Collateral Damage) II - The Guardians of the Door (June 22 2017 - January 2018)


During his long-term project On Friendship / (Collateral Damage) in which he collaborates with Metropool International Art Projects / Studio Meritis MaKOM (Linda Bouws), the main question is how western art and culture are presented and why. In Part 1 (2015) Semah searches for the specific Jewish implications in Kazimir Malevich's (The Black Square) and Barnett Newman's work, and also critically researches the claim by a growing group of people that refer to the Jewish-Christian origin of European culture. Through his lawyer Bob Vink, Semah makes contact with Beatrix Ruf, director of the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam and asks her to account for the 'empty page' in art history on behalf of the art world.




On the 13th of July 2017, Joseph Semah pursued the case with a public intervention/ installation in the Nieuwe Kerk, observed by a large audience. At the end of the performance the audience is invited to fasten the 5000 meter of long threads to the table. They are finally pinned down with a boiled egg (95 in all, in reference to Luther's 95 theses), leaving a fan shape of threads on the church floor.




 

 

 


On the 20th, 21st and 22nd of October the conversation will be continued with the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, including a round-table session, the presentation of the book publication On Friendship / (Collateral Damage) II - The Guardians of the Door, five unique performances by Joseph Semah and a three-day reading session in a specially constructed MaKOM house made of concrete blocks set at the entrance, in which Semah will read from selected texts of his 30-year research into the 'empty page'.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reflection on Kazimir Malevich


HOW TO EXPLAIN HARE HUNTING TO A DEAD GERMAN ARTIST

Performance tijdens de opening van Joseph Semah; Tracing Martin Heidegger's hut and Paul Celan's clouds. (5 nov - 31 december 2011)

The conversation which did not take place

Goethe-Institut, Rotterdam, the Netherlands

Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Art performance given by Joseph Semah with the help of Sigal Weissbein-Rozman, Auke van der Berg and Jom Semah.

The art performance is based on a poem written by Paul Celan entitled "Death Fugue", the action coincided with the opening of Joseph Semah`s exhibition at Goethe-Institut, Rotterdam, in the presence of the ambassador of Israel and the ambassador of Germany to the Netherlands.

After Paul Celan, Tango and Fugue

72 Privileges [.....]: 'It is precisely this balance between exile and the emotion of the privileged which forms the unique originality of our Breathing in Reverse. As will be clear already, there is no past or future in Exile, only an immediate present'.

 Joseph Semah/Read Full Text

Back to back imam, priest and visual artist Joseph Semah reading from the Koran, the New Testament and the Torah. At the opening of the project 'Next Year in Jerusalem' Germany, April 1st, 2007

http://youtu.be/NY8Nt9RSbyY - only on YouTube



Download book: Read Full Text (PDF).

On 4 May 2010, Commemoration Day, we witnessed the transformation of commemorating to celebrating Liberation Day in a very special performance by Joseph Semah. One of the oldest observatories in Western Europe is located on top of Felix Meritis, above the roofs of Amsterdam.

Joseph Semah "Breathing in Reverse" 2008