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Last Folio

September 10 – December 6, 2015
Koppelman Family Gallery

Serendipity lead the Canadian-Slovakian photographer Yuri Dojc a decade ago to an abandoned Jewish school in eastern Slovakia, where time had stood still since the day in 1942, when all those attending it were deported to the concentration camps, primarily Auschwitz. Its other contents were still there—untouched---books and notebooks with corrections on desks and shelves, reports, birth certificates, accounting ledgers, even sugar still in the kitchen cupboard… all decaying on dusty shelves, the final witnesses to a once thriving culture.

Dojc treats the abandoned, disintegrating books like the survivors they each are -- every one photographed like a portrait, preserved in its decrepit, poignant beauty.

Together with British media producer Katya Krausova and a documentary film team, Dojc traveled across Slovakia and found dozens of similar Jewish schools, synagogues, cemeteries, and concentration camp survivors. Last Folio (an exhibition, film, and book) charts this personal journey in cultural memory and reflects on the universal losses of the Holocaust.

Throughout 2015 Last Folio is part of international commemorations of the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II; it has appeared at the United Nations in New York, the National Library of Germany in Berlin, the Mark Rothko Museum in Latvia, the New Museum of Tolerance in Moscow, and at Tufts.

Photo by Yuri Dojc