"The New Authentics" are twenty-first century American Jews. Curated by Spertus Museum Senior Curator Staci Boris, the exhibit and this accompanying catalogue, The New Authentics, explores contemporary notions of Jewish identity through the work of 16 artists living in the United States. Engaged in the global art community, these artists insert traces of, consciously draw from, or directly address their experiences as Jews, and they are brought together here for the first time in a Jewish context. Drawing on new sociological theories concerning postethnicity in general, "post-Jewish," as used here, emphasizes hybridity, challenging assumed cultural categories and fixed definitions. No longer identifying as victims or "others," the post-Jewish generation focuses on balancing lived experience with heritage in intellectual, artistic, and daily practices. Their work shows that these artists question dogma, scrutinize notions of home, redefine the ethnic body, process the trauma of the Holocaust in new ways, rethink rituals, proclaim their cultural multiplicity, and constantly grapple with the question of what it means to be Jewish today.
Artists include: David Altmejd, Cheselyn Amato, Johanna Bresnick, Shoshana Dentz, Lilah Freedland, Matthew Girson, Karl Haendel, Laura Kina, Fawn, Krieger, Jin, Meyerson, Collier Schorr, Mindy Rose Schwartz, Ludwig Schwarz, Joel Tauber, Shoshanna Weinberger, and Jennifer Zackin. Essays by: *Stephen J. Whitfield, Max Richter Chair in American Civilization at Brandeis University. Author of several books including In Search of American Jewish Culture (1999), he lives in Boston, Massachusetts. *Rhoda Rosen, Director of the Spertus Museum, Chicago, Illinois. *Nicole Krauss, American writer, author of acclaimed novels including The History of Love (2006), she lives in Brooklyn, New York. *Sarah Giller Nelson, Assistant Curator, Spertus Museum, Chicago, Illinois and co-author of Designing the Good Life: Norman M. Giller and the Development of Miami Modernism (2007). *Lori Waxman, art historian and critic lives in Chicago, Illinois.
STACI BORIS, Senior Curator, Spertus Museum, Chicago; formerly she was a curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, IL.