Maya Zack: Living Room

July 31 - October 30, 2011

Maya Zack’s installation invokes a Jewish family’s apartment in 1930s Berlin via computer-generated images viewed through 3D glasses. A sound component based on the artist’s interviews with the man who fled that home accompanies the piece.

Maya Zack, detail of Living Room, 2009, four 3D computer-generated anaglyphs, 3D glasses, sound recording, each: 42 3/16 x 118 1/8 in. (120 x 300 cm); 22 min. Courtesy of the artist and the Alon Segev Gallery, Tel Aviv

In the installation Living Room, artist and filmmaker Maya Zack uses large-scale computer-generated 3D images accompanied by sound to evoke a Jewish family’s apartment from 1930s Berlin. While listening to the stories and memories of Manfred Nomburg, visitors can experience the apartment visually. 3D glasses enhance the oversized images reimagining rooms in the apartment and give them immediacy and depth.

Zack interviewed Nomburg, a German-born Jew living in Israel who fled his Berlin home in 1938. He describes the apartment in loving detail: the layout, furniture, appliances, tableware, carpeting and paintings. Recollections of the familiar objects inspire Nomburg’s anecdotes about his family, bringing the rooms and their contents back to life.

Like Zack’s film Mother Economy, exhibited at the Jewish Museum in 2008, Living Room explores the intersection of personal memory with historical events. Both pieces were inspired by a trip in which the artist travelled to Slovakia to the house where her grandmother grew up. She recalls her “encounter with the actual house, and the sense of emptiness and absence [she] felt while trying to imagine what had happened in between its walls — reconstructing a reality from a borrowed memory.”


Maya Zack was born in Israel in 1976. She lives and works in Tel Aviv. She has had solo exhibitions at the Alon Segev Gallery in Tel Aviv, the Natalie Seroussi Gallery in Paris, the Bezalel Gallery in Jerusalem, the CUC Gallery in Berlin, and others.

Her work has been included in group shows in Berlin, Munich, Milan, New York, and other cities. Zack’s work is in many museum collections, including the Israel Museum in Jerusalem, the Jewish Museum in Berlin, and Beit Hatfutsot Museum in Tel Aviv.

Zack’s films have been screened at festivals in Los Angeles, Vienna, Paris, Cologne, Budapest, Haifa, Tel Aviv and New York. In 2008, she was awarded Germany’s Celeste Art Prize for Mother Economy. Living Room was the winner of the Adi Prize for Jewish Expression in Art and Design in Jerusalem in 2010.

Exhibition made possible by the Melva Bucksbaum Fund for Contemporary Art.
Artist travel support provided by Artis.


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