Hillyer presents a participatory collaboration between artists Chloe Bensahel and Stephanie Mercedes using weaving and sewing as a metaphor to reflect on how historical trauma is repeated, and how understanding the past can help us find ways to resist in the present. Visitors are invited to help sew together two large images, one of a bombing of Bensahel’s family synagogue in Paris, and one of a recent protest against the killing of Alberto Nisman, a lawyer who accused the president of Argentina of covering up a 1994 bombing of the Argentine Israelite Mutual Association building.
Chloe Bensahel is a Franco-Sephardic artist whose work addresses human relationships to place and culture. An alumni of Parsons the New School for Design, Bensahel has worked worked in France, Japan, and Nepal, collaborating with artisans on contemporary art projects and installations. Her work has been shown in spaces ranging from the National Mall in Washington, DC to Galerie Odile Ouizeman in Paris. She is currently a fellow at the Halycon Arts Lab in Washington, DC.
Stephanie Mercedes is a Argentinian/American artist. Her research-based art practice intersections with the law, radical justice and the purpose of the archive. Mercedes restores silenced voices through performance, contracts, photography and installation. Mercedes was a Art & Law Fellow (2016); AIM Bronx Museum Fellow (2017); a Light Works Grant recipient (2017) and a Open Society Moving Walls Grant recipient (2017). Mercedes lives, exhibits and performs across the Americas.
This program is presented concurrently with “The Last Swiss Holocaust Survivors.” Presented in partnership with the Embassy of Switzerland in Washington DC and the Gamaraal Foundation, “The Last Swiss Holocaust Survivors” is a powerful exhibition that gives voice to the women and men who built a new life in Switzerland after surviving the Holocaust. The exhibition centers on large-scale photographic portraits and video interviews of some of the last remaining survivors of the Holocaust. They give a personal dimension to Holocaust history and preserve it for future generations.