The Shabbat Room, 2013
A permanent installation in the Jewish Museum Vienna
Room installation ; Four Lambda prints | Curated by Danielle Spera and Werner Hanak-Lettner
The project was commissioned and developed for the core exhibition of the
ewish Museum Vienna in 2013
Maya Zack invites visitors to immerse themselves in rich virtual environments in which she assembles fragments of individual and collective memory. In Zack's installation The Shabbat Room, now part of the Jewish Museum of Vienna’s new permanent exhibition, the artist reinterprets and revives a work by Viennese Jewish painter Isidor Kaufmann who, in 1899, created for the same museum a traveling installation on the subject of the Shabbat room, entitled Gute Stube. In 1938, the museum was shut down by the Gestapo and its collections confiscated, including Kaufmann’s installation. Using computer-generated visualizations based on rare photographs which survived the war and which document the travels of the Gute Stube across various museums, Zack retraces the path of Kaufmann’s work and its ultimate fate. In this journey back-through-time, she reveals elements of the Gute Stube that derive from the artist’s studio itself and from his paintings, as well as the mystical roots of Shabbat with which it was imbued.