The White Elephant Archive, Setting No. 3 explores the legacy of the Holocaust from the perspective of the third generation living in Austria today. In this intensely personal, one-man production Eduard Freudmann uses his family’s archive–which includes poems written by his grandfather while imprisoned in concentration camps–to explore his family’s silence about the Holocaust, and his own attempt to understand the burden of this legacy through art. Reflecting on the politics of Holocaust commemoration in Austria, and larger questions about how to speak of a horror once its witnesses are gone or silent, this production provides a rare and important glimpse into the experience of the third generation living in Europe, and the impact of trauma across generations.
Eduard Freudmann is an award-winning multimedia artist specializing in video, performance and public installations. His most recent work “The Monument May Be a Forest” (2016), was selected as the winning design of the controversial competition “From Those You Saved,” which will commemorate the Polish Righteous Gentiles in Warsaw. Freudmann’s work has been presented globally in international exhibitions, art biennials and festivals, including the OFF-Biennále Budapest, and is Senior Artist at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, where he researches and teaches Trans-disciplinary Art. Freudmann’s work explores the politics of commemoration and history, aesthetical perspectives on the archive, and the mediatization of the Holocaust. He is especially interested in historical-political commemorations in public spaces, both official and unofficial, and approaches to writing microhistories, including the transmission of family histories.
This performance of The White Elephant Archive, Setting No. 3 is made possible by the Future Fund of the Republic of Austria and Federal Chancellery of Austria.