2000

2000

The Mysteries of Memory

The Mystery of Memory is the attempt at an artistic action involving a piece of the city with its specific topography, history and technical infrastructure. There are no artificial props, stage set or actors.

When we began our activities at the Grodzka Gate in the early 1990s, we knew nothing about the history of Jews in Lublin. We were not aware that the enormous empty space on one side of the Gate conceals the Memory of the Jewish Quarter.

We did not realize that the Gate leads to the non-existent town, the Jewish Atlantis. There is a huge parking area, lawns and new roads where there used to be houses, synagogues and streets. A large part of this area, including the foundations of the former Jewish houses, was buried under a concrete cover, and the memory of those who lived here was hidden as well. You cannot  understand Lublin’s history without these empty spaces near the Gate. For the NN Theatre, they have become a natural setting for artistic actions, Mysteries of Memory, which uncover the memory of the past while mourning the victims of the Holocaust.

One of them, entitled “The Poem of the Place”, is built around the idea that despite the years that have passed, despite the concrete cover concealing the memory of the Jewish Quarter, the past keeps coming back to us. It is like a light piercing through the concrete. “The Poem of the Place” begins in a very symbolic way: the lights go out in the entire space of the former Jewish Quarter, setting the “stage” for subsequent actions. On the other side of the Gate, normal, everyday life goes on uninterrupted in the illuminated streets of the Old Town. The Gate thus becomes a passageway between light and darkness. Those attending the event go through the gate and enter the darkness, but as they walk on, they see light coming from the open manholes that they pass. The participants then continue along a road running across the area of the former Jewish Quarter until they reach the site where the synagogue used to stand.

The Mystery of Memory is an attempt at an artistic action involving a piece of the city with its specific topography, history and technical infrastructure. There are no artificial props, stage set or actors. In “The Poem of the Place”, the light and the voices issuing from the open manholes form a huge artistic installation, revealing the meanings hidden in the empty space near the Grodzka Gate.
In 2004, one of the last surviving street lamps of pre-war Lublin was dedicated as a symbolic eternal flame to commemorate the vanished world. Situated within the area of the destroyed Jewish Quarter, the lamp is always switched on, day and night, a sign of our Memory of Jewish Lublin and its inhabitants.

 

Tomasz Pietrasiewicz

 

CALENDAR:
The Mystery "One Land - Two Temples" 
Part of the I Congress of Christian Culture - 16th September 2000, 8 p.m.

The Mystery "Day of Five Prayers" 
Part of the I Congress of Christian Culture - 17th November, 2000, 11 a.m.

The Mystery "Poem of the Place"
12th October 2002, 8p.m.
Next edition: 25th September 2004

"Lamp of Memory" first lighting
25th September 2004, 9 p.m.

The Mystery "Memory of the Righteous - Memory of Light"
Part of the III Congress of Christian Culture - 26-27th September 2008, 7 p.m.

"Memory of the Righteous - Memory of Light" Exhibition opening
Part of the III Congress of Christian Culture - 27th September 2008, 9 p.m.