Sinagoga and Synagogue
(and their Protectors) -
A Photomontage

I first saw "Italia and Germania" during a visit to the Neue Pinakothek in Munich. Friedrich Overbeck (3.7.1789 Luebeck ­ 12.11.1869 Rome) painted it between 1811 and 1820. The painting is based on a chalk drawing of Shulamit und Mary. Shulamit, a Jewish woman named in verse 7 of Solomon's Song, rests her head against Mary the symbol of Christian motherhood.
Overbeck belonged to the 'Nazarenes', a group of German romantic artists, who between 1810 and 1830 strove to renew art in a religious context.

"Italia and Germania that both look for - and complete - one another, reflect the never ending attraction of the North for the South, for its art, its nature, its poetry " (F. Overbeck). "Behind Italia and the laurel wreath in her hair, is an idealistic Italian landscape with mountains, water and a hermitage. A Gothic fantasy town appears behind curly, blond haired Germania and her myrtle wreath. Courting Italia her two hands hold Italia's hand. It seems that Italia gently condescends."

(Sigrid Metken in "Die Nazarener in Rom", Prestel Verlag 1981, S.177.)

Why not give the link between Germany and Italy a 'Jewish twist' and transform it to today's Jewish life in both countries? The photos were shot during a visit to Rome. The synagogue was, similar to the situation in Berlin, heavily guarded.
A carabinieri stood at the entrance: young, with an elegant stance and his machine gun resting over his arms. Back in Berlin the respective photos were shot outside the New Synagogue.
How the photomontage "Sinagoga and Synagogue (and their Protectors)" developed It was very quickly clear that the two landscapes behind the women would have to be replaced with the respective synagogues. It is interesting to note that the architecture of the Great Synagogue in Rome appears more 'Nordic', while the architecture of the New Synagogue in Berlin is, without a doubt, Moorish i.e. 'southern'. The two styles of architecture are therefore 'crosswise' in the picture.
Rome: "nordic" architecture Berlin: "southern" architecture
The difference in appearance between the Italian carabinieri and the German policeman couldn't be greater and at the same time more honest! While the Italian emphasises elegance, appearance and pose, his German counterpart stands like a teddy bear on the steps. But the same applies to both: the protectors of the synagogues (or the women?) are in reality their poodles. The actual links between Germany and Italy in the photomontage are the two representative synagogues of Rome and Berlin and the fact that Jewish life in both countries requires police protection in front of their houses of God.

Berlin, October 2000
back to the starting page ---- Some Personal Notes ---- The Goldlust Family Genealogy ---- Marianne Golz-Goldlust (1895 - 1943) ---- The National Holocaust Memorial Competition ---- The Bus-Shelter Project in Berlin ---- The Little Diary - a Photomontage ---- Jewish and Gentile Basketball - an Installation ---- Sinagoga and Synagogue (and their Protectors) - a Photomontage ---- The Other Day in the Ghetto... - a Collage ---- Musical Chairs - Jerusalem 1961 - an Installation ---- Chance Meeting with Zionism - Photo ---- The Silent Concierge (or David and Lilliy Miss You a Lot) - an Installation ---- Schlomo Schmitz - Installation ---- Wir nicht! (Not Us!) - Collage ---- Tyically German? - Photomontage ---- Sobibor April 2003 - Photocollage ---- German Gates - German Trains - Photocollage ---- Zyklon B ---- an Interview with "Golem" ---- Ha'aretz on Ronnie Golz ---- Lecture and Tour Work in Berlin