Exhibiting Trauma: Ydessa Hendeles at the Haus der Kunst in Munich


Maurizio Cattelan, Him, 2002, installation view, Haus der Kunst, Munich. Copyright: Maurizio Cattelan.



“Exhibiting Trauma: Ydessa Hendeles at the Haus der Kunst in Munich.”

Anja Bock, M.A., Concordia University, 2004.

This thesis is an effort to come to terms with the affective and theoretical implications of Ydessa Hendeles’ exhibition of contemporary art, documentary photographs and vernacular objects entitled Partners, which was held at the Haus der Kunst in Munich, Germany, Novermber 7th, 2003 to February 15th, 2004. It looks at (1) Hendeles’ practice as a collector as a means of securing an identity in the wake of the trauma of the Holocaust, (2) the particular performance the exhibition asks the viewer to enact, (3) the multiple ironies that arise throughout the show and their consequences, as well as (4) the show’s function as a counter-monument to the Third Reich and a memorial of Pogromnacht. Overall, it is an effort to discern how the exhibition speaks to the issues surrounding the representation of the Holocaust as they pertain to personal and cultural identity and the construction of history.

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