Edmund de Waal is creating a major new two-part exhibition to be displayed in the 500-year-old Jewish Ghetto in Venice, coinciding with the opening of the 58th Biennale.
The first part is located in the spaces surrounding the Canton Scuola, the beautiful 16th century synagogue in the Ghetto Nuovo, which is now part of the Jewish Museum.
New installations of porcelain, marble and gold will reflect the literary and musical heritage of this extraordinary place. The intention is to animate spaces that are little known and little understood by visitors to the Biennale and to bring new audiences into the Ghetto.
The second part of the work will be a pavilion based at the Ateneo Veneto, the fifteenth-century building near the Fenice Opera House that has been an historic centre for cultural debate in Venice. Here, de Waal is constructing a small building within the main space that will house 2,000 books by exiled writers, from Ovid to the present day.
A major exhibit at the Bologna Jewish Museum will focus on the city’s “lost” medieval Jewish cemetery: it was destroyed in 1569 by order of Pope Pius V and was rediscovered during excavations in 2012-2014.
the exhibit features material found in the graves — including gold, silver, and bronze jewelry incorporating gemstones and amber, as well as other precious artifacts, using them to tell the story of medieval Jewish life in the city.
It was curated and organized by the Bologna Jewish Museum and the Superintendency of Archaeology, Fine Arts and Landscape for Bologna and the provinces of Modena, Reggio Emilia and Ferrara, in collaboration with the Jewish Community of Bologna.