University of Minnesota
Center for Holocaust & Genocide Studies
chgs@umn.edu
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CHGS

  • Robert Barancik

    Robert Barancik

    Robert (Bob) Barancik is the founder and director of theCreativeShare Web siteandCreativeShare Studio. He received an M.A. from the Graduate School of Education at Stanford University, and dual degrees in fine arts and architecture from the Rhode Island School of Design. In 2010 he developed the project, Art Not Hate: Creative Responses to Conflict. The project is a traveling art and video exhibit, series of workshops, and a resource rich website.

    The artwork displayed in Witness and Legacy is known as a Kvitl. Kvitl (prayer or good note) is a Yiddish word referring to  a small folded message that  religious Jews of Eastern Europe inserted into the crevices of tombstones of great rabbis and sages. Kvitls often petitioned the spirit of the departed or the Almighty to answer prayers or grant wishes.

    Barancik still creates Kvitls and explains his use of them in the video My kvitl.

    Artist Statement

    Barancik has said of his work: The Shoah is past. What am I to make from my living Jewish flesh? Just before my fortieth birthday, I was invited to the Vermont Studio Center as a visiting artist and writer. It was the spring of 1990. The weather was bitter cold and the snow dirty. The long Vermont mud season was beginning. I was given a small, stark room with plenty of light and heat and the opportunity to work without distractions for two weeks. What you see is the result of that intense burst of study, prayer and artistic fury. These collages and kvitls g were a catharsis for the pain that I felt as a spiritual descendant of Jewish Holocaust victims. The whole purpose of the "final solution" was to keep people like me from being born. I have not done much "Holocaust Art" nor grieving since that fortnight four years ago. Instead my wife and I have focused our energies on raising our only daughter as a religious American Jew and supporting the state of Israel through the American Jewish Committee and Middle East Forum. Presently, I am working on a series of Iyrical kvitls for a post-Holocaust Judaism and new millennium.

    Artworks: Witness and Legacy

    Passage from Kvitl Shoah: Folded Messages

    Passage from Kvitl Shoah: Folded Messages,
    1990 Mixed media portfolio
    7 x 9 3/4

    The Kvitl contain images from the Jewish past, poetry regarding relations between Germans and Jews, and thoughts about the Jewish future. The form of the "kvitl" artistically is a collage.

    Cover from Kvitl Shoah:Folded Messages

    Cover from Kvitl Shoah:Folded Messages,1990 Mixed media portfolio
    7 x 9 3/4

    These collages and kvitls were a catharsis for the pain that I felt as a spiritual descendant of Jewish Holocaust victims. The whole purpose of the "final solution" was to keep people like me from being born. I have not done much "Holocaust Art" nor grieving since that fortnight four years ago. Instead my wife and I have focused our energies on raising our only daughter as a religious American Jew and supporting the state of Israel through the American Jewish Committee and Middle East Forum.

    Passage from Kvitl Shoah:Folded Messages

    Passage from Kvitl Shoah:Folded Messages,
    1990 Mixed media portfolio
    7 x 9 3/4

    Poem from Kvitl Shoah.

    Kvitl Shoah: Folded Messages

    Robert Barancik
    Kvitl Shoah: Folded Messages,1990 Mixed media portfolio
    7 x 9 3/4

    Artistic images from Kvitl Shoah.

    Image from Kvitl Shoah:Folded Messages

    Image from Kvitl Shoah:Folded Messages,1990 Mixed media portfolio
    7 x 9 3/4

    This image is based upon a photo of liberated concentration camp survivors.

    Image from Kvitl Shoah:Folded Messages Image from Kvitl Shoah:Folded Messages,1990 Mixed media portfolio
    7 x 9 3/4
    Poem from Kvitl Shoah:Folded Messages

    Poem from Kvitl Shoah:Folded Messages,1990

    Mixed media portfolio
    7 x 9 3/4

    Image from Kvitl Shoah: Folded Messages Image from Kvitl Shoah:Folded Messages,1990 Mixed media portfolio
    7 x 9 3/4
    Image from Kvitl Shoah: Folded Messages Image from Kvitl Shoah:Folded Messages,1990 Mixed media portfolio
    7 x 9 3/4

    Page updated 2013.