Photography lecturer Julia Winckler’s exhibition is inspired by dramatic family history.
A new exhibition by Julia Winckler, lecturer in BA (Hons) Photography lecturer in the University of Brighton, Faculty of Arts, is taking place at the Austrian Cultural Forum, in partnership with the Polish Cultural Institute.
Entitled Spuren (Traces), the starting point for the exhibition was the finding, in an attic, of a suitcase that had once belonged to Julia's great uncle, Hugo Hecker. The suitcase had witnessed Hugo’s escape, in the summer of 1939, from Vienna to England. His parents and most of his family perished in the Holocaust. Only two photographs constituting the last visual traces of the family have survived. In his lifetime, Hugo was unable to talk about the loss of his family.
In the accompanying catalogue, published with support from the Austrian Cultural Forum (ACF London), Edward Timms, founder of the Centre for German Jewish Studies, writes: “To place those events in their historical context has required nearly a decade of patient research, which Julia has undertaken at the Wiener Library and the Imperial War Museum in London, and in Poland with the help of the Polish historian Jacek Proszyk and the Jewish Religious Community of Bielsko-Biala. Only last year, with the aid of another Polish historian, Wojciek Kielkowski, she finally succeeded in identifying all of Hugo’s siblings and establishing further details of how the family perished.”
The exhibition consists of a series of large-scale multi-layered photographs and a short film, made in collaboration with the artist Nerea Martinez de Lecea. Art historian Deborah Schultz explains: “Through the stages of the project, from Witnessing to Searching and Preserving, when more is known about the people and their circumstances, these images become remarkable, tiny, multilayered capsules of material, not only about those individuals and their lives but about the social, political and cultural worlds in which they lived and the ways in which we might connect to them now. In Spuren, Julia finds a way of making memory visible.” Spuren is at the Austrian Cultural Forum, 28 Rutland Gate, London SW7 and runs from 3 April-8 June 2012.
Accompanying events include:
Tuesday, 17 April from 7-9 pm
Private view: Professor Edward Timms (Founder of the Centre for German-Jewish Studies, University of Sussex) and Julia Winckler will make short presentations introducing the themes of the exhibition at the private view.
Tuesday, 15 May at 9pm
Panel discussion organised by the Polish Institute and the Austrian Cultural Forum London with Prof Józef Niżnik (Institute of Philosophy and Sociology, Polish Academy of Sciences, IFiS PAN) and Gerhard Wolf (DAAD Lecturer in Modern History, Centre for German Jewish Studies, University of Sussex) chaired by Julia Winckler.
Tuesday, 22 May 2012 at 7pm
Panel Discussion: ‘Out of Austria’: Remembering the Austrian Centre. Organized by the Research Centre for German and Austrian Exile Studies. Marietta Bearman, Charmian Brinson, Richard Dove, Anthony Grenville, Marian Malet and Jennifer Taylor. All members of the Research Centre for German and Austrian Exile Studies will be speaking on the subject of the Austrian Centre, a wartime organisation run by and for Austrian refugees from Hitler.
Thursday 31 May 2012 at 7pm.
Panel Discussion:Working with Traces, Memory and Archives. Organized by the Austrian Cultural Forum London, the Polish Cultural Institute and the University of Brighton. Dr. Deborah Schultz (Assistant Professor of Art History, Richmond American International University, London) will chair an evening event with painter Ruth Rix, Julia Winckler and Dominik Czechowksi, Curator at Calvert 22.
For more information visit: www.acflondon.org/exhibitions/traces