Saturday, 16 May 2009

21 [12 May 2009]

As the boredom struck whilst cutting paper for a new series of prints based on my new 'line' / 'zip' series on aluminium I 've been watching the news.

The pope's visit to Israel has reminded me that the subject of the Holocaust actually is a 'hot-topic'. The media hype may be obscuring the facts, but it was fascinating to watch the pontiff make his speech at Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial, the camera focusing on the chairman: Rabbi Lau, a Holocaust survivor, looking on disapprovingly. Afterwards he expressed disappointment at the speech: "there certainly was no apology expressed here . . .". For what?

The press have reported that the pope is in a difficult position: he was a member of Hitler Youth (reluctantly) conscripted during the war, is planning to make Pope Pius XII (wartime pope who stayed neutral during the war and did nothing to hault the killing of Jews) a saint and has reinstated Bishop Richard Williamson and four colleagues who were excommunicated for denying the existence of the Holocaust (Williamson stated 20 years ago:" There was not one Jew killed in the gas chambers. It was all lies, lies, lies. The Jews created the Holocaust so we would prostrate ourselves on our knees before them and approve of their new state of Israel . . . Jews made up the Holocaust").

It has been reported that the Pope's presence at the Holocaust Memorial is a statement against the Holocaust deniers in itself. He also paid tribute to the memory of the six million Jews who perished: "May the names of these victims never perish. May their suffering never be denied, belittled or forgotton".

It is not for me to comment - I just find it fascinating that the visit has caused such controversy; I cannot stop being reminded of all though armchair critics of my work who tell me it is not relevant today.

Back to paper cutting now - a day of printing tomorrow.


Image: Jonathan Moss, 'RSA II', Mixed media on aluminium, 2009. Photo: Jonathan Moss.

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