Collaboration of Chava Pressburger with Vera Schwarcz




A conversation in Paper, Poetry, and Print


Chava Pressburger and professor Vera Schwarcz met when the Romanian-born Schwarcz, daughter of Holocaust survivors, was doing her research at Yad Vashem in Jerusalem. "I saw an incredible painting called "Memories". It was a huge, abstract canvas, very striking to me," Schwarcz said. " There is so much overly explicit art about holocaust. This was utterly abstract, so conducive to thought". The painting was done by Chava Pressburger, a native of Prague, who was imprisoned in Terezin with her older brother, writer and poet Petr Ginz (killed in Auschwitz in 1944).

Pressburger's work in this serial are created from the paper she produces herself from plants growing near her home in the Northern Negev and from her garden.


"Since our first meeting at Chava's studio in Israel, we have been asking ourselves, "What is the point of doing art when terrible things happen? Can artists say anything at all about the horrific? What is the distinctive power of art?"


 (From article of Mara Dresner in the Jewish Ledger)


Where Azur Reigned
After Yi Huan (1840-1891)

Pure light no longer flows here, only
fading lotus flowers.
A crowd of trees harbors
remnants of heavy rain
on distant hills some
gold fleeced clouds,
frogs croak cicadas join
as if they understood a thing.

Once more a feast near the Mountain of Virtuous Rule
cloaked in autumn blood.
The Hall of Clear Azure
lies empty the marble bridge
shatterd to bits. Arrest
the oars hold on to wine,
do not stifle the cry in your throat.

Does The Wind Know?

Zda to vitr vi?
Does the wind know?

Ask one who counted
falling leaves in Prague

Ask Jews in Birkenau
who sang: "Kde domov muj"

"Where is my home"
before the gas

Ask perforated clouds
how to shelter fotgotten memories

Ask midnight
how to wake the sleeping harp?

Ask strings of sheep gut
how David cried forth his psalms?

Then, say the blessing
over those who drownd

Repeat the bracha for the silence
of the knowing wind.
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