Autumn In New York
Multimedia exhibit at Jewish Museum delves into the world of the
author of the absurd and explores his relationship to Judaism.
Special to the Jewish News
Photo montage from
"The City ofK: Franz
Kafka and Prague," based
on a photograph of Franz
Kafka from 1917;,t age
33, with a picture of the
rooftops of Prague.
ou don't need to travel to Prague to see the
"Paris" of Central Europe.
Prague has come to America in a
unique multimedia exhibit, "The City of
K.: Franz Kafka and Prague," at New York's Jewish
Museum through Jan. 5, 2003.
Video, lighting and music, combined with photo-
graphs, manuscripts and books, immerse the viewer
in Kafka's life, his city and his writings.
Created and organized by the Center of
Contemporary Culture in Barcelona, Spain, the
exhibit was part of a series
called "Cities and Their
Writers." The Jewish
Museum is the only
American venue for the
"This was particularly
appropriate for us at the
Jewish Museum since Franz
Kafka was a Jewish writer
and this exhibition brings
to light his Jewish origins
and how he struggled with
coming to grips with his
DLR i N
own Judaism," says Karen
Levitov, the museum's assis-
tant curator and coordina-
tor of the exhibition.
First edition of "Die.
Franz Kafka was born in
Prague July 3, 1883, just
outside the Old Jewish
Quarter, the firstborn child
and only surviving son of Hermann, a merchant, and
Julie Kafka. The parents typified the upwardly
mobile, assimilated Jewish bourgeoisie who spoke
German, practiced Reform Judaism and lived a secu-
lar way of life.
Kafka and other intellectuals rejected the bourgeois
and assimilationist way -of life. According to the exhibi-
tion catalogue, written largely by originating curator
Juan Insua, the culture of assimilation led to a sense of
isolation and a crisis of identity for Kafka and others.
The exhibit's first half, "Kafka in Prague," deals