Read More

LOUISE BRIGHAM: Adventures of a Scrap Artist

By Antoinette LaFarge

“Two summers on the island of Spitzbergen,” wrote Louise Brigham in 1909, “taught me, more than all previous experiments, the latent possibilities of a box.” The book she published that year, Box Furniture, is indeed a testament to the possibilities of a box—and not just any box, but specifically the packing crates then used to ship all kinds of ordinary consumer goods. Brigham found in those humble, cheaply made boxes inspiration for a unique system of furniture design based entirely on recycled packing crates.

Read More

Contemplating Disembodiment in the work of Liat Yossifor

By Susan Power

Our experience of time and space has been radically disrupted by the threat of the pandemic; its scope and sobering impact both intimate and distant. Yet this existential crisis can promote a new way of being in the world. With so many aspects of our lives on hold, the current moment offers a rare opportunity to reflect upon the “state of things.” Like the eponymous 1982 film by Wim Wenders, which revolves around a science fiction film cast and crew stranded together on location when the production is stalled due to sudden lack of funds, Liat Yossifor’s latest body of work was on its way to Sydney, Australia for a solo show at Fox Jensen Gallery scheduled to open on March 28 when it became stranded in shipping crates, postponed in the voyage to its destination, and ultimately consigned to a screen…

Read More

Modern Architecture’s Legacy in a Renaissance-era Czech City

Around the turn of the century in Olmütz, a small town in the Czech Republic, (known as Olomouc in present day) a Jewish community flourished. With its impeccable examples of Gothic and Baroque architecture and connection to the Hapsburg Empire, it was known as the “Moravian Rome”. However, its young people were increasingly turning to cosmopolitan Vienna for intellectual stimulation. When the onset of World War I sent many of them home to Olmütz, they tried to maintain that high level of cultural exchange they had experienced in the Kaiserstadt.

Read More

My School Years After the War

By Peter Sichrovsky

I had no problems with anti-Semitism, neither in elementary school nor later in high school. The teachers stayed behind, often talking about their experiences during the war, some of them also open about being in the SS, but they left me alone. Life was far more difficult for my parents. … My mother did not want to talk to me about any of the former Wehrmacht officers who were my teachers now.

Read More

Writing and Resistance: Interview with Erich Hackl

At the annual German Studies Association conference in September, the Austrian Cultural Forum featured Austrian author Erich Hackl’s Three Tearless Histories (DoppelHouse Press, 2017). The book is a collection of three personal histories about individuals affected by mid-century fascism, including the Austrian resistance fighter Gisela “Gisi” Tschofenig, who was killed in 1945, six days prior to the liberalization of the Schörgenhub work education camp where she was detained. In “Tschofenig: The Name Behind the Street,” Hackl recounts her improbable wedding in the Dachau concentration camp and attempts to resurrect her accomplishments amidst a family squabble that threatens to bury her forever.

Read More

Heda Margolius Kovály’s Exceptional Life Navigating a Century of Horrors

Based on interviews with award-winning filmmaker Helena Treštíková, Hitler, Stalin and I (DoppelHouse Press, 2018) is the oral history of Heda Margolius Kovály. In the book Heda recounts her experiences under fascist and communist oppression in 20th century Czechoslovakia. In the following interview, Treštíková and Kovály’s son and translator Ivan Margolius give more context to the book and its publication.