_ School of Lublin | Ulrike Grossarth

School of Lublin

Lublin 2014

‘The Lublin school’ is a metaphor I have been using since 2006. In the first place, it refers to the previously so called school of Yaakov Yitzhak Horowitz, the ‘Seer of Lublin’, who in the 18th century led his house of learning, a Yeschiva, in ulica Szeroka 28 in Lublin. The city was the centre of the Hasidism in Poland and was considerd the Jerusalem of the East. In the 20th century, Lublin once again became a focal point of European history. Majdanek, the site of a former concentration camp, is near Lublin; and Lublin was also the starting-point of the so-called ‘Operation Reinhardt’, an unprecedented extermination campaign organised by the Nazi regime and reaching well into Ukraine. The manifold historical layers offer an opportunity for contemplation and questions which, over the last few years, have triggered artistic processes, specifically in collaboration with students in my class, in which historical, mental and cultural motifs of reflection and imagination are being implemented. In these processes, the wisdom and prophecy of the hasidic masters—a training in, and a cultivation of, paradoxical thinking—plays a special role. It is about developing a consciousness that enables one to actually enter into zones, spaces and areas which remain sealed to a one-sided rational view of the world.