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Art without Borders: art as connection

It may not be obvious that an Iranian artist exhibits in a synagogue. That it is possible is proven by the exhibition 'Art without Borders'. Art is pre-eminently the means to build bridges between cultures. Art can also be a means of connecting past and present and can blur imaginary boundaries. The exhibition Art without Borders in Synagogue Groningen tells the story of the difficult realization of a Jewish Monument in Groningen and how an Iranian artist 45 years later is inspired by this same work of art.

In the synagogue we show a series of seven drawn hands, made by the Iranian artist Hossein Tadi. The Hands series originated during the quarantine period in the spring of 2020. Tadi was looking for a common language between all people affected by Covid-19. Hands are a symbol of connection for Tadi. He started drawing hands in large formats and sent the first ones to Willem Vugteveen.


After seeing the drawings, Vugteveen made the connection with the Jewish Monument (1977) by the prematurely deceased Dutch sculptor Eduard Waskowsky. This year it is 45 years ago that a commemoration took place for the first time at the Jewish Monument designed by Waskowksy on the Verlengde Hereweg. This monument consists of six hands and one empty pedestal. Hossein was inspired by this artwork and decided to draw seven hands, to finish in his own way what Waskowsky had failed to do. Tadi dedicated his work to Edu Waskowsky. In this exhibition you can see and hear the special story of the Jewish Monument, Edu Waskowksy, but also Hossein Tadi.

The exhibition was created in collaboration with Stichting La Bohème en de Akerk (Stichting Oude Groninger Kerken), where work by contemporary Iranian artists can also be seen from July. The exhibition Art without Borders in Synagogue Groningen can be visited from 5 June to 25 July.

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