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Zoë Cohen Installs for #RevolutionaryArt at the National Museum of American Jewish History

May 24, 2017

Artwork by: Zoë Cohen
Title of Artwork: Shkoyach
Location: National Museum of American Jewish History

Artist Statement:
Shkoyach is a temporary projection to be displayed at the National Museum of American Jewish History. In this project, a series of pairs of watercolor portraits will be projected at monumental scale within the NMAJH’s lobby. On a walk through the museum’s educational displays and collections in the main galleries, I collected some of the images on view of Jewish women engaged in social justice work across 100 years of American history. I then researched images of Black, Latina, and Asian women engaged in the same types of public actions, strikes, protests, and organizing meetings. The resulting watercolor portraits are intended to offer a personal and humanizing response to the extraordinary and ordinary heroism of these women. The title, Shkoyach, is a Yiddish expression often used to acknowledge and appreciate an act of bravery, wisdom, or chutzpah. It is a contraction of the more formal Hebrew “Yasher Koach”, and the literal translation is “May your strength be directed forward”. The expression, and this project, acknowledge both the importance of what has already been done, and the importance of using our strength for future action.

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Revolutionary: A Pop-Up Street Art Exhibition is a six-week exhibit of 13 contemporary Philly-based artists installed at 13 locations across Philadelphia’s Historic District. Exploring the spirit of revolution, the artists chosen for #RevolutionaryArt are looking at the world around us with a critical eye and creating works of art that challenge the political and social status quo. Commissioned by Visit Philly and curated by StreetsDept.com’s Conrad Benner, more on the exhibition – including a map of all the installations – can be found here!

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