The theme of the 2023 LABA exhibition is “Taboo”. Through sculpture, video, paper, and mixed-media installations, eight artists explore the nature of taboo from the perspective of contemporary Jewish life in Germany. The works on display interrogate violations of halakhic law, invoke the body as a source of transgression, trace the sublimation of taboo into fetish, and summon the lived experience of the shunned. In a country where discussion over Judaism and Jewishness is itself transgressive, the exhibition posits, is being Jewish its own form of taboo?
With Anisia Affek | Alma Itzhaky | Liad Hussein Kantorowicz | Michaela Kobsa-Mark | David Krippendorff | Hagar Ophir | Kari Rosenfeld | Jordan Lee Schnee.
Curatorial direction by Olaf Kühnemann and Rachel Libeskind
LABA: A Laboratory for Jewish Culture is a program that was first launched in 2007 at the ‘14th Street Y’ in New York’s East Village. The fellowship uses traditional Jewish texts to inspire the creation of art, dialogue and study. Participating artists use the forum to create work which is featured in a final exhibition and performance series. Every year LABA focuses its study around a theme. Previous themes include Paradise, Eros, Blueprint, Eat, Mother, Time, Beauty, Other, Chosen and Broken.
By approaching Judaism’s rich pool of literary and intellectual traditions in open and creative conversations, we create room for new Jewish thought and art. The body of work which ensues is presented in a thoughtful exhibition program, representing a resilient reclamation of the Jewish creative narrative as our own. Open to visual artists, choreographers, musicians, writers, performers, thinkers, and more, LABA Berlin invites Jewish artists living and working in Berlin to expand the boundaries of what Jewish art can be and what Jewish texts can teach
LABA has active hubs in New York, Buenos Aires, the Bay Area and Berlin.