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Letters to Afar

Installation by Péter Forgács and The Klezmatics
Presented by YIVO and the Museum of the City of New York
On View October 22, 2014 - March 22, 2015
Museum of the City of New York
1220 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10029

For hours of operation and tickets to the exhibition, visit here or call (212) 534-1672.

Letters to Afar is an immersive video art installation based on home movies taken by New York City’s Jewish immigrants, who traveled back to visit Poland during the 1920s and 30s. Presenting poignant family reunions and everyday life in small towns, Letters transports the viewer to a world and culture on the brink.

Letters was created by award-winning Hungarian media artist Péter Forgács, based on a collection of home movies housed in YIVO’s archives, with an original score by The Klezmatics. It was commissioned by the Museum of the History of Polish Jews in Warsaw and the YIVO Institute and made possible with the generous support of the Kronhill Pletka Foundation, the Righteous Persons Foundation, the Seedlings Foundation, and Mr. Sigmund Rolat.

While Letters is on view, YIVO and the Museum of the City of New York will co-present public and educational programs that explore themes raised by the exhibition.

To keep current with Letters programming, sign up for YIVO’s mailing list here.

Creating History: Can We Tell the Past?

Location: YIVO Institute, 15 West 16th Street
Admission: General $12 | YIVO and MCNY Members $8
Box Office: | (212) 868-4444

How do we engage with what is no longer here? Artists and scholars Péter Forgács (filmmaker, Letters to Afar), Svetlana Boym (photographer, Harvard), Marci Shore (Yale), Steven Zipperstein (Stanford), and Amelia Glaser, moderator (UC San Diego) present their work and discuss how art and scholarship shape our understanding of the past. How do artists’ and scholars’ views differ from our understanding of our own histories? Read more...

SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 2 | 11:00am-6:30pm
The Alchemist: A Péter Forgács Film Retrospective

Location: YIVO Institute, 15 West 16th Street
Individual Screenings: General $10 | YIVO and MCNY Members $8 | Click "read more" to purchase tickets
Discussion: General $15 | YIVO and MCNY Members $12
Day Pass (all screenings + discussion): General $25 | YIVO and MCNY Members $20 | Purchase

In this first retrospective of Péter Forgács’s Jewish films, viewers are invited to explore questions about history, memory and meaning-making through the particular lens of the Jewish experience. Screenings of Free Fall, A Bibó Reader, The Danube Exodus, Miss Universe 1929, and The Maelstrom will be shown, followed by a discussion with Péter Forgács and film scholar Bill Nichols at 6:30pm. Read more...