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Margaret Lansink and Rene van Hulst “The Kindness of One” exhibition

Margaret Lansink, The Kindness of One – Spirits. Courtesy of the artist and The Gallery Club

Thu, Nov 17 - Fri, Feb 3  2023

Jewish Museum of Florida-FIU

The Jewish Museum of Florida-FIU presents the exhibition The Kindness of One  with Dutch photographer Margaret Lansink and poet René van Hulst from November 17, 2022 until February 5, 2023. The exhibition is curated by Gili Crouwel, a photography curator from Amsterdam and frequent visitor of Miami for 30 years.

Special Events

  • Opening reception: Thursday, November 17, 7-9pm
  • Art Basel Open House: Sunday, December 4, 11am-2pm

 

In The Kindness of One, photographer Margaret Lansink and poet René van Hulst contemplate the great potential within a single person’s act of kindness. The couple was inspired by events in 1940, during World War II, in which thousands of Jewish people were trapped in Kaunas, Lithuania between the advancing German troops and the Russian army taking over the Baltic states. On July 24th, the Dutch Consul-General in Kaunas, Jan Zwartendijk, took personal action and, even though he did not know the Jewish refugees, began to issue visas. In only two weeks, he issued 2,345 visas and saved the lives of more than 6,000 people. The Japanese counsel of Kaunas, Sugihara, likewise issued visas that enabled the people to travel through Russia and reach Japan by boat.

Every moment contains multiple possibilities, though sometimes we cannot feel it. Small decisions, small gestures, and small actions ripple outwards from our bodies into the lives of others, collapsing the many possibilities into the determination of reality. With a casual and careless stroke, we can crush the spirit of another in passing without any awareness of having done so. Equally, we can unknowingly radiate to others the inspiration and joy to live another day. Our deepest acts of both cruelty and kindness may in fact be invisible to us.

In her black and white intuitive photography, photographer Margaret Lansink traces the feeling of everyday saviors like Zwartendijk through an intuitive view of Kaunas and Japan. She mixes scenes from ordinary daily life with shots of blurred confusion, and layered scenes with reflections that hold us apart from what we see. In his series of short poems, René van Hulst muses on the potential of our human existence: we are all afraid and alone, together. In combination, the photographs and words dwell in the possibility of any given moment for a person to choose fear, apathy, and anger, or to choose compassion and kindness. Gently, they urge for kindness.

DutchCulture USA