Benny Nemerofsky Ramsay, 16 February – 8 March 2015
The Muranów Lily
A sound walk inspired by Isaac Bashevis Singer’s story of the 1970s entitled Two and created as part of Benny Nemerofsky Ramsay’s residential stay. It tells a story of a boy who wishes to be a girl and is one of the author’s five stories dedicated to the issue of queer identity.
The Muranów Lily, accompanied by music performed by the Polin Choir directed by Sean Palmer and Kuba Pałys, recounts the original story by Singer about Zissa and a painting featuring a legendary flower that disappeared from museum collection. The sound narrative comprises facts and gossip about both the painting and the flower. Through these fragments, the listener is led to sites where the mysterious plant appeared in Warsaw for the first time. The layers of history and fiction suggestively interweave (at times mutually excluding each other), drawing a story of personal and botanical metamorphosis.
The Muranów Lily draws our attention to the issue of representation of non-heteronormative identities in the past, invoking the world created by Singer, portraying the Jewish community from a hundred years before. In that way, Nemerofsky frames a universal question about the visibility of issues related to gender identity and reinstates their symbolic place by building a new, Muranów urban legend.
The following members of the POLIN Choir took part in the project: Carolina Albano, Piotr Aleksandrowicz, Małgorzata Berwid, Bartosz Goździkowski, Irena Klein-Sadowska, Małgorzata Kozek, Małgorzata Małocha, Jola Nałęcz-Jawecka, Edyta Pawłowska, Natalia Obrębska, Martina Rampulla, Grażyna Rudolf, Zosia Sadowska and Karolina Szulejewska.
The conclusion of the artist's residency at the museum was a meeting led by dr hab. Dariusz Brzostek, an academic from Cultural Studies Unit at Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń, the author of >>“Lily is a lily, is a lily, is a lily...? Body’s voice(s)”.
More about the artist
Benny Nemerofsky Ramsay holds a master’s degree from the Concordia University, Montreal, and the York University, Toronto. He won the First Prize in the 10th Media Art Biennale WRO as well as distinctions at other international festivals, including the Avanca Film Festival in Lisbon, the Hamburg Short Film Festival and Oberhausen Kurzfilmtage.
The artist has presented his works in such institutions as, inter alia, Kunsthistorisches Museum (Vienna), Frankfurter Kunstverein (Frankfurt), Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art (Toronto), The Power Plant - Contemporary Art Gallery (Toronto), National Gallery of Canada (Ottawa), as well as during solo exhibitions in Kitchener-Waterloo Art Gallery (Kitchener), Khyber Centre for the Arts (Halifax), Dazibao Centre de Photographies Actuelles (Montreal), MuseumsQuartier (Vienna), Künstlerhaus Büchsenhausen (Innsbruck), New Langton Arts (San Francisco).
For more information please visit www.nemerofsky.ca.
The activity “Open Museum – Education in Action” is carried out within the project “Jewish Cultural Heritage”, component “Faces of Diversity”. Supported from the Norway and EEA Grants by Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.