236 — Land(es)capes from the 20th Convoy
Jo Struyven / Luc Tuymans
From 20 January 2023, the Jewish Museum of Belgium, in partnership with the Auschwitz Foundation, presents the exhibition entitled ‘ 236, Land(es)capes from the 20th Convoy ‘. It is set up in the museum’s project space and offers an artistic look at an exceptional and forgotten event in the Second World War.
The 20th convoy
At 10 p.m. on April 19, 1943, the 20th convoy departed from the Kazerne Dossin transit camp in Mechelen with 1,631 Jewish deportees in cattle cars, heading for Auschwitz.
Thanks to resistance actions, both inside the wagons and from outside, 236 of these deportees managed to jump from that train, that was leading them to extermination. An unique event in Europe under the Nazi administration.
Jo Struyven, photographer
The work of the Belgian photographer Jo Struyven (°Sint-Truiden, 1961) takes us back to these acts of resistance – commemorating the 80th anniversary in 2023 – and gives us a glimpse of the landscapes in which this striking story took place.
Taking the perspective of those who jumped off that train, an act for which many of them paid with their lives, Struyven creates a contemporary ‘memorial’ with 19 large ‘nocturnal’ black and white images, and one colour print.
Jo Struyven :
The 20th convoy, heading for the unspeakable “Auschwitz”, crossed the area where I grew up, barely 50 meters from my childhood bedroom — I found out 2 years ago after meeting Simon Gronowski. Ever since, I imagine the distress of the deportees. The destination was unknown to them. Some, sensing the worst, tried to escape it. I wanted to give an account of this border between life and death, between resignation and the impossibility of choosing, and the freedom regained with resistance to the oppressor’s plans.
Works presented by Jo Struyven
Land(es)capes from the 20th Convoy, 2020-2022, 19 black and white prints, 1 color print, 90×60 cm (Private collection – Belgium)
Luc Tuymans, visual artist
In dialogue with Jo Struyven’s photographs, two works by Belgian visual artist Luc Tuymans (°Mortsel, 1958) evoke the destruction of the Jews and Roma of Europe. Die Wiedergutmachung (The Reparation) depicts body parts – left the eyes of gypsy children who had been experimented on by the Nazis. … images that in its incompleteness, reflect the inability to represent facts and memory .
Works presented by Luc Tuymans
Art after the Shoah
“Writing a poem after Auschwitz is barbaric”, wrote German philosopher Theodor W. Adorno in 1949. Through two contemporary perspectives from the visual arts, this exhibition seeks to address this question of the (im)possibility of art after the Shoah in a new way.
Testimonies & Catalogue
This exhibition will be accompanied by a catalogue book edited by Daniel Weyssow and Jo Struyven and published by the Auschwitz Foundation entitled Land(es)capes from the 20th Convoy (press release on April 19, 2023), as well as an educational space presenting the testimonies from interviews and archives of convoy escapees.
Info+ ( & Français | Nederlands)
Land(es)capes from the 20th Convoy
Jo Struyven / Luc Tuymans
Exhibition at the Jewish Museum of Belgium, in Brussels, Belgium
20 January – 14 August 2023
Auschwitz Foundation, Brussels, Belgium
Jan 20, 2023 – Vernissage ‘236’ Land(es)capes 20th convoy.
Full report at michelvanderburg.com here : https://michelvanderburg.com/2023/01/20/vernissage-236-landescapes-20th-convoy/
Video report : Vernissage ‘236’ Land(es)capes 20th convoy
Thursday January 19th, 2023, the vernissage of the photo exhibition 236 — Land(es)capes from the 20th Convoy was opened with speeches by Philippe Blondin, President of the Jewish Museum, and by Pierre-Yves Jeholet , Minister-President of the Government of the Federation Wallonia-Brussels. Next, the Belgian photographer Jo Struyven presented his work — escape landscape photographs glowing in the dark — like being lit by moonlight — as well as paintings contributed by Luc Tuymans in the project space. The exhibition runs from January 20 – August 14, 2023 in the Jewish Museum of Belgium, Brussels, Belgium. Video report (20230120) Michel van der Burg | Miracles•Media .
Jan 20, 2023 – VRT | Kristien Bonneure (Belgian Flemish Broadcast) 20 jan 2023
Post and podcast interview (dutch) Jo Struyven – link https://www.vrt.be/vrtnws/nl/2023/01/18/expo-xxe-konvooi/
Sunday January 22th, 2023. Updated Museum’s poster image, and the Vernissage news item , editing text, plus embedding video.