A Brown Folder – Homage to Felix Bloch
Curator: Ruth Lubin
On the occasion of International Holocaust Memorial Day, the exhibition "A Brown Folder" will be held in the
Municipal gallery of Hadera.
: During my visit to “Beit Theresienstadt”, my eyes were caught by a harrowing work of the artist Felix (Ferdinand) Bloch. The picture he drew in 1943, about a year before he was tortured to death, depicts daily life in the ghetto. Felix Bloch, a graphic designer by profession, described symbolically through an impressive sketching technique an episode of chaotic life that had taken place between the ghetto walls. What caught my attention to a great extent, and gave dramatic meaning to the whole picture was the format Felix Bloch has chosen for his work. This choice, of course, was not question of his preference but rather stemmed from complete lack of choices. Felix Bloch, who worked at the “Drawing Atelier” of the Technical Department in ghetto Theresienstadt, simply used an old brown cardboard folder, this was the only “paper” he had. In secret he sketched a visual text, silent testimony, depicting the horrors he had to go through in Theresienstadt. His drawings, later on, served as an evidence during the processes with the Nazis.
Many artists from Israel and abroad have paid, by their artistic expression, a tribute to Felix Bloch, the only thing they should respect was the basic material – brown cardboard folder. They created wonderful, impressive and very exciting exhibition full of memories and pains, that preserves the remembrance of this gifted artist, who used all his talent to perpetuate one day of his gruesome life he was forced to spend in ghetto Theresienstadt.
The techniques the artists used varied from print, photography, drawing, collage, readymade, etching, relief to working in oil and acrylic. By using such a variety they made the exhibition fascinating and arousing curiosity.
Felix Bloch created a valuable and rare document under the threat of genocide, horrible living conditions, chaos and tragedy without any glimpse of hope and knowing that seven decades after his tragic death his intimate work would be miraculously revealed to the wide public with the help of many artists from all around the world, the world that tries to repair itself.