Jewish Art? History and Politics of a Concept (Dr. Cedric Cohen Skalli)

This research examines the religious, cultural and political debates surrounding the modern idea of Jewish art, with a special emphasis on the German speaking zone. It focuses on the intense and complex relationships between artists, intellectuals and collectors in the 19th and 20th centuries and their role in the development of modern Jewish art. The research addresses the anti-Semitic discourse on Jewish aniconism, as well as Jewish responses to its accusations (Buber, Cohen, Rosenzweig, David Kaufmann, Levinas), as well as the study major trends in Jewish appropriation of modern art as expressed through the nostalgia of the ghetto, the Zionist and Bolshevik mobilization of arts, and the School of Paris. Moreover, this research will deal with tension between the 20th century mass culture of images and Jewish aniconism, understood as a political and ethical critique of this visual culture.