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Anne Frank Project

Partial Index, Installation Views.

A Probability Bordering on Certainty, Installation Views.

Conditions for Growth, Installation Views.

Anne Frank Project

The Anne Frank Project , first exhibited at The Institute for Contemporary Art in the exhibition ” Boston Now” curated by Lynne Cooke, David Ross, and Elizabeth Sussman, 1991 and exhibited widely nationally and internationally from 1991- 2001.


The Anne Frank Project, a three-part installation, transforms the way history and artifacts are conventionally considered. The installation questions the social construction of Anne Frank, the person behind the myth, as separate from the accumulated cultural history of the "Diary." Formally, the slippage between text and body, artifact and representation, memory and its social mechanisms, form essential spaces of the Anne Frank Project.

Partial Index is an architectural structure, with a wall of doors, it functions as a filing cabinet containing enlarged 'documents.' Texts written by Anne Frank but omitted for publication by her father, images of an analysis of her handwriting, floor plans of the hiding place, and photos from the walls of her room. By presenting documentation of various kinds, the distinctions between truth and fiction, denial and falsehood become sharply delineated.

A Probability Bordering on Certainty is a collection of works developed while Rothenberg was living in Berlin during 1991-92. Proximity to the sites of WW2 enabled her to do research at The Anne Frank Institute and Museum, and the Netherlands's Institute for War Documentation. "A Probability..." is not a documentary portrait of a person or a time, but an investigation into the construction of identity and transforms the way history, artifacts, and documents are conventionally considered."

Conditions for Growth is the final part of the Anne Frank Project and considers the impossibility of quantifying the experience of The Holocaust. As a departure point, the installation has notations inscribed on the walls of the Secret Annex recording the heights of Anne Frank and the other children. In "Conditions..." the exhibition wall becomes a surface of inscriptions. Masses of rulers are suspended above steel footprints and surround industrial scales weighing pillows, pencils, and bread.


Exhibition History


Solo exhibitions: The Bunting Institute, Radcliffe College 1992; University Art Museum, UCSB curated by Elizabeth Brown, 1993; Kent Gallery, NYC, 1994; Portland Museum of Art, 1994; Tufts University Art Gallery, Aidekman Arts Center, 1994; Gallery 312, Chicago, 2001. Group exhibitions: “Burnt Whole” ICA, Boston and Washington Project for the Arts, 1994; ”After Auschwitz,” Royal Festival Hall, London; Manchester City Art Gallery, Manchester; City Gallery Sunderland;  City Arts Center, Edinburgh, England; “Holocaust as Subject” Tweed Museum, University of Minnesota, Duluth, 2004.