Spring Wende Salon: Puzzling Claus Bach

The Wende Museum, Culver City, California
May 22, 2013 | 6pm

The work of the irreverent East German photographer Claus Bach is the subject of the exhibition Claus Bach’s Views of Weimar currently on display at The Wende Museum through June 2013.  Weimar has been the locus for the debate on the legacy of East German art and in 2012 Bach was one of four photographers featured in a comprehensive survey on GDR visual media.  Virginia Heckert, J. Paul Getty Museum Curator; Wolf Gruner, USC History Professor; and Brechtje Beuker, UCLA German Professor, will explore whether Bach’s photographs are contemporary art, cultural documents or ‘just’ East German photography -- or perhaps something else completely?

Space is limited.
Kindly RSVP by May 17 to RSVP@wendemuseum.org  or by phone to (310) 216-1600 x301
Parking is available.

Biographical Notes

Brechtje Beuker is currently Visiting Assistant Professor in the Department of Germanic Languages at UCLA, where she teaches courses on Viennese Modernism, Early German Film, Postwar Theater, and Contemporary Literature.  After receiving her M.A. in her native country the Netherlands, Beuker came to the US to earn her Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota. She initially taught at the University of Georgia for three years, before moving to Los Angeles. Her research interests include 20th and 21st century German and Austrian literature and culture; theatre and performance studies; and the intersection of aesthetics and violence. She has published on Elfriede Jelinek and Christoph Schlingensief and is currently working on a book project entitled “Performing Terror: Violence in Contemporary German and Austrian Theater.”

Wolf Gruner holds the Shapell-Guerin Chair in Jewish Studies and is Professor of History at the University of Southern California (USC). He received his PhD in History in 1994 from the Technical University Berlin. He was a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard University, Yad Vashem Jerusalem, the US Holocaust Memorial Museum and Women’s Christian University Tokyo and the Desmond E. Lee Visiting Professor for Global Awareness at Webster University in St. Louis. In fall 2011, the USC Shoah Foundation Institute appointed him as the inaugural Senior Fellow. He is the author of eight books on the Holocaust, among them Jewish Forced Labor under the Nazis. Economic Needs and Nazi Racial Aims, with Cambridge University Press (2006, paperback 2008), as well as numerous articles in prestigious journals in various languages. One of his co-edited books in German on “Das „Großdeutsche Reich“ und die Juden. Nationalsozialistische Verfolgungspolitik in den „angegliederten“ Gebieten (The Greater German Reich and the Jews) (2010) was awarded a prize for the most outstanding German study in the humanities and social sciences in 2012 by the Börsenverein des Deutschen Buchhandels and the German Foreign Office, and is under contract for translation into English with Berghahn books. A book manuscript on the state discrimination against indigenous people in 19th century Bolivia will be published in Bolivia in Spanish in 2013-14. At USC he is leading the interdisciplinary research cluster “Resistance to Genocide” and is a member of the Shoah Foundations Institute’s Faculty Advisory Council. Wolf Gruner is currently working on a book about individual Jewish defiance and protest against persecution in Nazi Germany and Austria.

Virginia Heckert is Curator of Photographs, J. Paul Getty Museum and specializes in the history of Modern and Contemporary Photography in Germany and the U.S.A. In her previous position as Curator of Photography at the Norton Museum of Art in West Palm Beach, FL, she organized numerous exhibitions from the permanent collection, as well as exhibitions of contemporary photography. She received her Ph.D. in Art History from Columbia University, New York, in 1999 and has been the recipient of grants from the DAAD and the Fulbright Foundation as well as curatorial fellowships from the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; and the Berlinische Galerie, Berlin. Her writings on photography have been published in prestigious journals and her most recent catalog is on Ed Ruscha and Some Los Angeles Apartments that compliments the current exhibition on view at the J. Paul Getty Museum.