Holocaust hospitality: Michal rovner's living landscape at yad vashem

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Michal Rovner's Living Landscape is the first "exhibit" in the new Holocaust History museum at Yad Vashem in Jerusalem. A permanent, site-specific, multimedia installation woven from found footage of prewar Jewish life in Europe, it covers the entire thirteen-meter high, triangular southern wall of the museum, occupying one of the most important spaces in the museum. This article considers the poetics and polemics of Living Landscape through the concept of hospitality theorized by Emmanuel Levinas and Jacques Derrida. Not only does the piece welcome us into the museum, it also thematizes hospitality in returning to the motifs of home/land and the address/greeting. Positioning its viewers alternately as host and guest, it presses us to an ethical reflection on our relationship to the history and memory of the Holocaust and its victims.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)89-122
Number of pages34
JournalHistory and Memory
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2016


  • Contemporary art
  • Ethics of hospitality
  • Found footage
  • Holocaust museums
  • Memory
  • Spatial montage
  • Yad vashem

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • History


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