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About the Project

 

IMG_1050 copy«Les Résidus du Vide» (Leftovers from the void) is a forthcoming art installation (Spring 2018) by acclaimed artist Ben Jack Nash. The project surmounts cultural barriers, lifts the veil on a part of our shared history and catapults contemporary art into a region where it is difficult to access.

It takes place inside a magnificent but sadly abandoned synagogue which stands empty for fifty years. It is located in Reichshoffen amongs idyllic French countryside of Alsace, France.

Reichshoffen synagogue is part of our world heritage. It is one of the last testimonies of a disappeared tribe – the Jews of rural Alsace. In the future, this synagogue together with the other rural synagogues in the region, will be held up similar to how Mayan Temples are considered today.

About the Artwork

 

Built under Napoleon in 1851, Reichshoffen synagogue is a rich and unusual blend of distinct styles and radiates a quiet but strong spiritual atmosphere. A product of its time, it is also the product of major social changes that were taking place in France and Europe. Established for over a  thousand years since the Romans, The Jews of rural Alsace lived privately and on societies’ margins. Timorously tucked behind trees and buildings, the synagogue mirrors this discretion.  It’s silhouette, wooden pews and cross-shaped weather vane resembles a christian chapel. It’s windows, doors and geometric decoration are distinctly Islamic Moorish. It is on closer and perhaps with only an insider’s inspection, that the true function of the building is revealed.

The artwork takes the form of an architectural intervention. It will integrate a series of ‘sculptural interactions’ constructed specifically for this site and this project that respond tightly and in close harmony with the character and energy of the building and its space. Elements of uncertainty, deception and discretion will be important informing ideas as will the notion of physical and social transformation. Several individual elements such as the stained glass windows, candelabras and stone carvings will be interacted with in such a way that, as with the fate of the community itself, their very existence becomes open to question.

 

blinds open copy   projection closed

 

 

 

 

 

 

Digital impression illustrating an example of how the installation will interact with the building’s architecture

 

Project Endorsement

In February 2017 “Les Résidus du Vide” went on to win the prize for best project at the prestigious contemporary arts award  “La Dînée” in Strasbourg. It followed selection from several highly regarded curators and gallery directors including:-

Margot Delalande (Head of Collections, FRAC Lorraine)Screen Shot 2017-02-06 at 10.41.32

Maryse Jeanguyot (Director at Faux Mouvement Centre d’Art Contemporain, Metz)

Jean-Francois KAISER (Director at Jean-Francois Kaiser Gallery, Strasbourg)

Alexandra Adler (Curator at Haus der Elektronischen Küinste, Basel)

Ileana Rodruguez (Curator at Phantom Projects Contemporary)

Claudio Vogt (Curator at Kunsthalle Basel)

In addition, the project has won support from Accélérateur de Particules, a Strasbourg based organisation driving contemporary art in the Region. It is also made possible thanks to the Consistoire Israelite du Bas Rhin who is rehabilitating deconsecrated  synagogues for cultural use.

 

Further info and getting involved in the project

 

For updates and developments follow the facebook page or twitter @benjacknash.

Given the scale of the project, we will be launching a crowdfunding campaign in the near future. To find out more or to be informed when this takes place please email studio@benjacknash.com

 

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