This essay assesses a series of art projects, festivals, and institutional spaces acknowledging Poland’s Jewish past that appeared in Poland during its first decade of EU membership. Identifying a recurring practice of making absence present and tangible, or more broadly a concern with Jewish ghosts, the essay examines how contemporary art practices peddle in nostalgia for a Jewish past as a mode of desiring a cosmopolitan European future. As “newly integrated” Europeans, Poles are caught in a double bind: on the one hand, their Jewish ghosts allow them to participate in European postimperial discourses of tolerance and multiculturalism; on the other, they remain haunted, continually eroticized and differentiated from the “real” Europe.
Research Article| February 01 2020
A Specter Is Haunting Poland: Art, Absence, and the European Union
boundary 2 (2020) 47 (1): 97–114.
Shir Alon; A Specter Is Haunting Poland: Art, Absence, and the European Union. boundary 2 1 February 2020; 47 (1): 97–114. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/01903659-7999520
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