Éva Kovács (2023). The Sensual Memory of Shoah: The Meaning of Sound, Touch and Taste in the Culture of Testimonies.


The chapter looks into the possibilities and limitations of the artistic use of testimonies of Shoah survivors. It discusses Hungarian progressive experiments in which testimony has become institutionalised, externalised, objectified and therefore translatable, transformable and transmittable from its original language, place, form and personal uniqueness into different registers of art and culture. Three curatorial strategies for using artistic methods to bring the audience back to the performative character of witnessing with the help of testimonies will be analysed. All three examples are unusual because they encourage us to activate those senses that we are less likely to relate to testimony mediated visually for a broader audience: listening (to background noise), touching and tasting.