The Jewish Museum Berlin (Jüdisches Museum Berlin), in Berlin, Germany, covers two millennia of German Jewish history. The architect Daniel Libeskind created the museum in a radical, zigzag design, which earned the nickname “Blitz.”.
Menashe Kadishman’s (מנשה קדישמן) contribution to the Jewish Museum Berlin is the installation titled Shalechet (Fallen Leaves) in the Memory Void, one of the empty spaces of the Libeskind Building. Over 10,000 open-mouthed faces coarsely cut from heavy, circular iron plates cover the floor.
Kadishman’s installation, on loan from Dieter and Si Rosenkranz, powerfully compliments the spatial feel of the Voids. While these serve as an architectural expression of the irretrievable loss of the Jews murdered in Europe, Menashe Kadishman’s sculptures filling them evoke painful recollections of the innocent victims of yesterday, today, and tomorrow.
Born in 1932, Menashe Kadishman studied sculpture in Israel from 1947 to 1950. He continued his education in Great Britain at the St. Martin’s School of Art and the Slade School of Art in London (1959-1960). Today the artist lives and works in his native town of Tel Aviv. He has been awarded several prizes since the 1960s, among them first prize for sculpture at the Fifth Paris Biennial Art Festival (1967), the Sandberg Prize from the Israel Museum Jerusalem (1978), and the Mendel Pundik Foundation Prize for Israeli Art (1984). He represented Israel at the Venetian Biennial Art Festival in 1978. In the years since 1965, Kadishman’s art has been shown in numerous single and group exhibitions in Israel and far beyond, and has won international acclaim.