Arnoud Holleman & Batya Wolff

The Kiss of Life

29 April - 2 October

Images from a family archive

In the installation The Kiss of Life, filmmakers Arnoud Holleman and Batya Wolff reveal how, in Batya’s family, photography is connected with processing the Shoah (Holocaust). Batya’s father Max Wolff (96) has spent his entire life building up an immense image archive that spans almost a hundred years of Jewish family life. The vast majority of the images are from after the war, with a smaller number from before the war – punctuated by the devastating loss of the Shoah. What were the motivations behind the pre-war photographs and films? And how did they differ after the war?

Successive generations of Wolffs, recorded with successive generations of technology. Most of the images were made by Max Wolff, but the archive also contains images made by other family members. Elly Wolff, Max’s older sister, who was killed in Auschwitz. Harry van Esso, an in-law, who died in Bergen-Belsen. Max’s father-in-law Michel Kunstenaar, who, like Max, wanted to record new life after the war. The archive is presented in the Art Gallery together with four short films and a screensaver.

Based on the family archive, Holleman and Wolff have also made a documentary film entitled Captured (a co-production of De Familie Film & TV and KRO-NCRV), which will be shown several times in the museum during the exhibition.

The installation The Kiss of Life can be seen in the Art Gallery, in the Jewish Museum, from April 29 to October 2, 2022.

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