Banned and Recovered
Malcolm Lubliner is one of sixty artists participating
in a major exhibition on the subject of banned books organized by
curator Hanna Regev.
Phase one of the exhibition opened on Augut
15th, 2008 in San Francisco at The Center for the Book and Phase
two, the one in which Mr Lubliner's work will appear, opens on
September 5th, 2008 at the African American Museum and Library
in Oakland. Mr. Lubliner's book selection is All Quiet on the Western
Front, the powerful anti-war novel by Erich Remarque published
in 1928 and banned by Hitler in 1933 calling it "anti-German
Mr. Lubliner's piece is a four by six foot image containing interpretive
drawing and reproductions of WW1 photographs of dead and dismembered
soldiers who suffered the agonies of trench warfare.
This is the artist's statement about the work:
“All Quiet on the Western Front”
The montage composed of photographs of dead and dismembered soldiers
is a pivotal part of the image. It is intended to give viewers a
taste of conditions on the front lines during World War One. They
came from a Brussels based archive, The Great War in a Different
Light, which contains hundreds of similar photographs taken by photojournalists
who had seemingly few editorial restrictions, although some of these
were also banned.
The Gothic German text is an abstracted version of the original
title taken from the book’s first edition dust jacket. Translated
the title reads, “In The West Nothing New”, which was apparently
Erich Remarque’s sardonic commentary on how little concern or sympathy
the military leadership had for the men in the trenches where life
was consistently and pervasively miserable.
The soldier in the drawing has volunteered for service under great
social pressure and against his instincts. He is a missionary for
his government’s interests although he will not profit from them.
He is both perpetrator and victim, ringmaster and clown. He is neither
alive nor dead and no longer has control over the flames of his volition.
A ghost of what might have been a rich life; he is now a scrap of
currency in an international gamble.
The woman in the drawing, wise and skeptical of military motives
is silenced by cultural tradition. Burdened by the absurdity of war
and the imperatives of home, her memories, real and invented, mingle
with dreams and demons. She reads the news of battles and stares
at the street now barren of young men except for those who paid for
their loyalty with severed limbs or broken minds, although even that
was often no excuse for absence from duty.
Represented by Craig