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Zoran Mušič's Dachau drawings on show at Moderna

Ljubljana, 27 February - Zoran Mušič's iconic drawings from the Dachau concentration camp, including some not yet exhibited in Slovenia, will go on display at Moderna Galerija, the Museum of Modern Art, on Thursday.

A painting by Zoran Mušič (1909-2005) at the National Gallery.
Photo: Daniel Novakovič/STA
File photo

An exhibition of works by Zoran Mušič (1909-2005).
Photo: Daniel Novakovič/STA
File photo.

The exhibition Condemned to Hope - Drawings from Dachau brings together Mušič's Dachau sketches from Slovenia, those discovered in Italy in 2016 and a selection of his impressions on paper from the series We Are Not the Last from public and private collections in Slovenia and Italy.

Twenty-three drawings were discovered in the archives of the Italian Partisan association in 2016 and one in the Regional Institute of the History of the Liberation Movement in Friuli-Venezia Giulia. The drawings were on show for the first time at the Revoltella Museum in Trieste in 2018.

The present exhibition takes its title from a misquote of Filip Müller (1922-2013), a former Auschwitz Sonderkommando by Claude Lanzmann, director of the film Shoah (1985), in a French interview.

In the interview in which Lanzmann contemplates how it was possible to survive the camps, he quotes Müller from Shoah: "If you want to live, you're condemned to hope." Müller in fact said: "If you want to live, you have to have hope."

Running until 3 May, the exhibition will be accompanied by fragments of testimonies of Nazi camp survivors and liberators.

Born in Bukovica in south-western Slovenia, Mušič (1909-2005) spent much of his post-war life between Venice and Paris. He was interned in Dachau in 1944, en experience that he depicted in his 1970s series We Are Not the Last.

He mostly painted landscapes, still-lifes, portraits, Dalmatian horses and donkeys, trees, Venice vedutas and distressing old age self-portraits. He sought his motifs in his native region of Kras.

© STA, 2020