Muselmann. Tribute to Aldo Carpi

in cooperation with the SHOAH MEMORIAL of Milan and ASSOCIAZIONE FIGLI DELLA SHOAH

On the occasion of Holocaust Memorial Day 2021 the Brera Academy of Fine Arts is presenting an exhibition entitled “Muselmann”, a tribute to Aldo Carpi, curated by Prof. Barbara Nahmad and Prof. Stefano Pizzi with an introductory note by Prof. Vittoria Coen, in collaboration with the Shoah Memorial and the Associazione Figli della Shoah.

Aldo Carpi’s example is certainly a source of inspiration for the professors and students who have joined the initiative by creating a modular installation of black and white works on paper, an ideal wall mosaic, which on 27 January will be broadcast as a video of the exhibition through the Academy’s website, YouTube channels and the social networks of the promoting institutions and the City of Milan.

Aldo Carpi, a professor of painting at the Brera Academy of Fine Arts, was arrested by the Fascists after a colleague betrayed him. He was then deported first to Mauthausen and then to his most tragic Kommando, Gusen, where he met the tragic figure of the ‘muselmann’, a word that in the Lagerszpracha jargon of the camps indicated prisoners with starvation down to their bones already in the pre-agony phase.a
His is perhaps the only diary that came out of the Nazi camps, one of the few ‘direct’ documents, in the form of letters to his wife, that have been published about the concentration camps. What is striking about it is its moral strength and the intact capacity for artistic reflection. Life in the camp is described and drawn with painful and disturbing images. In a difficult year like the one that has just ended, Aldo Carpi’s example is certainly an inspiration.

The example drawn from Aldo Carpi’s touching words and his drawings was a fertile testing ground for the teachers and students who accepted the invitation and gave rise to some forty intense works, specifically black and white papers, symbolic tiles that will make up an installation at the Memorial, an ideal wall mosaic.
While we wait to see our beloved places of culture open again to see these works exhibited live, a video and a brochure have been produced to testify to the heartfelt involvement of those who made this initiative possible: the professors and students of Brera.