The Jewish Museum Berlin: Obedience Exhibition

During our very short trip to Berlin, we managed to visit the Jewish Museum. Well I say visit, I went to the basement floor which I finished in 30 minutes and hadn’t realize the real deal was on the 2nd and 3rd floor until it was too late.

DSC02543Anyway, to fully benefit from the entrance fee, my friend Delou and I thankfully went to see the Obedience installations on the 1st floor and may I already say that this is the best exhibition I’ve ever witnessed while alive.

Going to Catholic schools, I knew the Biblical version of the story of Abraham who’s willing to obey God’s command and sacrifice his son Isaac. Multimedia artist Saskia Boddeke and film director Peter Greenaway portrayed the story in 15 rooms that takes us through several parts of the story.

While going through every room, I was impressed by the work of art right until I got to the 14th room: the sacrifice. This room displays 3 big screens with children in warzone crying and asking what they’ve ever done for people to hurt them for no reason whatsoever. Yes God stops Abraham in time and ultimately a ram gets killed instead of Isaac but in real life thousands of innocent children die every day and there are no rams sacrificed here.

After a rollercoaster of emotions by watching the sufferings of children all over the world through those screens, you can’t help but question the tale of Abraham’s obedience. The very last room depicts it even better: if those children are Isaac, than are you an Abraham?


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