Mary Voorhees Meehan


  • Hitler was a megalomaniacal artist intent on remaking the world, not only through murder on an unprecedented scale, but by destroying the ethical relationship between words and truth and images and reality. The Holocaust and Holocaust Denial were twins born in the same monstrous womb. In the twenty-first century, can we possibly recapture the Renaissance ideal that “the eye is the window of the soul”? How can we reconnect words and images to deconstruct Orwellian lies, numbing kitsch and totalitarian faux-art? Using Tadeusz Borowski’s This Way for the Gas, Ladies and Gentlemen as a proof text, Venus febriculosa has challenged some of today’s finest artists to re-conceptualize the book cover as a way to reconnect words and images as a pathway to a human but horrifying truth. This Way for the Gas provides an interesting trigger for analysis and discussion on what might not be a new quest, but a challenge radically changed in the post-Holocaust era.

    Liebe Geft, Director, Simon Wiesenthal Center Museum of Tolerance, 2011