How to Respond a Rods When You are Deadvideo performance
New work by artist Uladzimir Hramovich created especially for Yiddishland Pavilion - a video performance about the Bundist revolutionary Hirsch Leckert (1879-1902), who fell victim to Russian tsarism, and the Belarusian Soviet sculptor Abram Brazier (1892-1942) killed in the Minsk ghetto by the Nazis, who also destroyed most of his works after they captured the city.A video performance about the Bundist revolutionary Hirsch Leckert (1879-1902), who fell victim to Russian tsarism, and the Belarusian Soviet sculptor Abram Brazier (1892-1942) killed in the Minsk ghetto by the Nazis, who also destroyed most of his works after they captured the city.
In 1902, by order of the Vilna (Vilnius) Governor-General V. V. von Wahl, 28 arrested men (22 Jews and six Poles) were flogged for participating in the May Day manifestation. This public execution instigated a feeling of despair and revenge within he Jewish community, especially among the workers. Leckert, an active member of the Jewish workers' party Bund, fired at the governor with a revolver and wounded him. According to the verdict of the military tribunal, Leckert was hanged. After his execution, the Bundist newspaper "Arbeter Shtime" published an editorial entitled "How to Respond to Rods", discussing what should be a proper response of the revolutionaries to repressive actions by the state.
In the 1920s Abram Brazier created the bust of Hirsch Leckert, which was installed in the center of Minsk. Leckert was a national hero - in his honor dramas were written and performances were staged, factories and collective farms were named after him. But in the 1930s, the sculpture was destroyed, and Leckert's name began to be removed from the official historical discourse due to the growing anti-Semitism in the USSR.
The video performance by Uladzimir Hramovich focuses on political bodies that turned into monuments, which are again subjected to violence and destruction in history. Today these bodies are forced to return to the question “how to answer to whips if you are dead”?
Yiddishland Pavilion at the 59th Venice Biennale, 2022
Curators: Maris Veits, Yevgeiy Fiks