From Pulp to Palimpsest: Witnessing and re-imagining through the arts

Bjorn Krondorfer, Karen Baldner

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Since the summer of 2002, Karen Baldner and I have been engaged in a collaborative project creating objects about our German and Jewish family histories. We are transforming the cultural messages we have received from our familial and social networks into material representations. As descendants of a persecuted Jewish-German family and a non-persecuted German family respectively we have ventured into the haunted spaces left by the legacy of the Shoah and the war. As a Jewish woman and gentile man, we understood early on that rendering ourselves vulnerable in the face of the Other is the most promising way to create a dialogue that would remain true to our quest of accounting for the past without having the past determine our friendship in the present. We collected, assembled, and arranged scraps of memory in response to discomfiting details of family lore and history. A landscape of ruptured lives eventually began to unfold in front of our eyes, and each of us looked at this materialized vista through the lens of our cultural, gendered, and familial dispositions. Because of those differences and because the distance between our residences prevents regular face-to-face encounters, our collaboration seemed an unlikely candidate for success. Yet over the years we have created a small body of work that has received a modicum of public recognition through exhibitions at galleries and museums.1.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationDifferent Horrors / Same Hell: Gender and the Holocaust
PublisherUniversity of Washington Press
Number of pages31
StatePublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)

Cite this

Krondorfer, B., & Baldner, K. (2013). From Pulp to Palimpsest: Witnessing and re-imagining through the arts. In Different Horrors / Same Hell: Gender and the Holocaust (pp. 132-162). University of Washington Press.