Questionable History | Soviet Jewish Life: Bill Aron and Yevgeniy Fiks

10808 Culver Blvd, Culver City, CA 90230
Nov 14, 10 AM - 6 PM — ends Mar 20, 2022
Questionable History

What is history? What are historical facts? How do we experience our own past and the history of the world? In times of culture wars about monuments and history education, this exhibition asks questions about the character of historical knowledge and the stories we tell about the past.

Museums are educational institutions that have pertinent stories to share, yet most visitors are not aware of the complex discussions behind an exhibition concept, or even a single object label. "Questionable History" focuses on illuminating these often invisible question marks. Instead of imposing a specific point of view, it offers a playful presentation of artworks and artifacts that invite the visitor to ask critical questions about curatorial decisions.

Alongside art and artifacts from the Wende collection, this exhibition presents contemporary work that reexamines the legacy of Lenin's image: a video from Lithuanian artist Deimantas Narkevičius reverses footage of the removal of a Lenin monument; Cherokee/Seneca-Cayuga artist Jamison Chās Banks superimposes the face of Lenin on a denim pennant, drawing from his family history; Belgian artist Raymond Minnen and Belarusian artist Natalia Drobot humorously refashion Lenin figurines, appropriating official iconography and turning it upside down to create new meaning.


Soviet Jewish Life: Bill Aron and Yevgeniy Fiks

Russia has had a long, tumultuous history with its Jewish citizens. Short periods of prosperity and acceptance were alternated with centuries of persecution and exclusion. During the Cold War, Soviet Jews experienced discrimination and often were disciplined when they applied for emigration to Israel, Europe, or the United States. Applications came at a great cost, resulting in the loss of employment, educational opportunities, and isolation from family and friends. The Soviet Jewish experience is at the core of the work in this exhibition by Bill Aron and Yevgeniy Fiks.

"Soviet Jewish Life: Bill Aron and Yevgeniy Fiks" presents documentary photography of Jewish communities in the USSR in the early 1980s, together with an artistic reinterpretation of twentieth-century Soviet Jewish history.

"Soviet Jewish Life" and related programming is generously funded by the Peggy and Edward Robin Family Foundation, the Genesis Philanthropy Group, the Jewish Community Foundation of Los Angeles, and additional supporters.