[Chicago Crossings: Bridges and Boundaries, reel 20; Edith Altman]

In a 1994 interview with Kartemquin Films, artist Edith Altman talks about a piece she is working on for the Spertus Museum of Judaica's exhibition, "Bridges and Boundaries: Chicago Crossings." Altman also sheds light on the inspirations for her artwork, her trip to Eastern Europe and Auschwitz, and the difficulty of Holocaust education.

0:30Copy video clip URL Edith Altman talks about the nature of her work, and how in creating her installations she sometimes reuses elements from past pieces.

1:46Copy video clip URL Altman begins to explain the inspiration for and meaning behind her piece for the Spertus show.

3:24Copy video clip URL Altman talks about the film aspect of her piece that she is working on with filmmaker Julie Glazer, in which she and Glazer interview Black and Jewish schoolchildren, asking them a variety of questions. “I hear a lot of hate…from the Black children, and fear from the Jewish children…and yet, at the end, they all want to meet each other.”

9:00Copy video clip URL Altman mentions that Kerry Marshall—another artist involved in the Spertus show—reached out to her, hoping that she could help him translate text from Hebrew to English. Altman admits that she doesn’t know much Hebrew, but says she referred Marshall to her rabbi and the two have been meeting consistently.

10:23Copy video clip URL Altman talks about her recent trip to Eastern Europe in which she visited Auschwitz. Although she says she had visited other camps prior, she claims, “You think that you’ve seen it all, but you haven’t, until you go to a place like Auschwitz.” Altman goes on to show the crew a number of photographs she took visiting Auschwitz while explaining the influence the trip has had on her work.

14:25Copy video clip URL Altman speaks to the importance of Holocaust education, recognizing that it is a difficult issue to deal with, yet one very important to her—so much so that it is the primary inspiration behind her current piece, titled: “How Shall we Teach our Children?”

15:13Copy video clip URL Altman talks about victim blaming as a byproduct of failures of our education system.

17:02Copy video clip URL Altman tells the Kartemquin crew about some of her past exhibits while highlighting common threads throughout her work.



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