"The Anne Frank Project"

an installation

by Ellen Rothenberg

 Schedule of Events

Spring 2001

February 3 - March 24, 2001

Opening Reception: Saturday, Feb. 3rd, 6 - 9pm


 Image from Conditions For Growth: The Anne Frank Project

Gallery 312 will present the Chicago premiere of Ellen Rothenberg's installation series "The Anne Frank Project."


The entire series, Partial Index, A Probability Bordering on Certainty, and Conditions for Growth will be shown together for the first time in a new exhibition designed for Gallery 312.

 During a year residency in Berlin, Rothenberg did research for "The Anne Frank Project" in Holland and Germany, with co-operation from The Anne Frank Institute, The Netherlands Institute for War Documentation, and The Netherlands National Forensic Laboratory. This investigative research in collaboration with historians, sociologists, and scientists informs the artist's work. "The Anne Frank Project" transforms the way history, artifacts, and documents are conventionally considered. The installation's architectural framework is an extension of the ideas in the project and an integral part of the work. The exhibition will be articulated as a site of memory and of experience.

"The Anne Frank Project is not a documentary.... Its subject is not the facts of history...but its successive representations and permutations ...It is history viewed through the lens of the Anne Frank story, as it was recuperated and rewritten, reinvented and transformed."

--Whitney Chadwick, catalogue essay, Tufts University


Installation view Partial Index: The Anne Frank Project

 Throughout its development, excerpts from the "The Anne Frank Project" have been presented in museums and contemporary art venues across the United States and Europe. The Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston, London's Royal Festival Hall, The Portland Museum of Art, The Kent Gallery NYC, Washington Project for the Arts, The University Art Museum UCSB, and Tufts University's Aidekman Art Center among others, have all featured Rothenberg's work on Anne Frank.


Detail from Partial Index: The Anne Frank Project

"Rothenberg's project is at once a search for truth and an acknowledgement of truth's ever-shifting parameters. Throughout the work the shimmering nature of (Anne) Frank's identity acts as a metaphor for the unknowable nature of the past."

--Nancy Stapen, The Boston Globe

 Ellen Rothenberg's performances and installations have been widely presented in the US and Europe. Her most recent exhibitions include "Beautiful Youth" at The Vedanta Gallery in Chicago, "Telling Histories" at The Boston University Art Gallery, and "Searching the Criminal Body" at The University Art Museum SUNY Albany. She has received numerous commissions for public projects including a permanent work "Industry, Not Servitude!" installed at The National Historical Park Lowell, Massachusetts. Rothenberg was also a participant in Sculpture Chicago's "Re-inventing The Garden City". Her work has been supported by grants and fellowships from The National Endowment for the Arts, The Rockefeller Foundation, The Bunting Institute at Radcliffe College, The Illinois Arts Council and The Massachusetts Council on the Arts and Humanities among others. Currently, Rothenberg teaches at The School of the Art Institute and lives and works in Chicago.

"Recent revelations concerning the authenticity, censorship, and editorial manipulations of the Diaries of Anne Frank become the means whereby Rothenberg explores ways that history is written, that the individual subject is constituted and that the public and private intersect."

-- Lynne Cooke, curator


Detail from A Probability Bordering on Certainly:

The Anne Frank Project (Guilt Erasers)


Detail from A Probability Bordering on Certainly:

The Anne Frank Project (Footprints)

"One might wish to argue that this work is among the most stylistically and conceptually advanced works using Holocaust imagery...."

--Matthew Baigell, Jewish-American Artists and The Holocaust


Related Events

 Gallery Talk with the artist:

Saturday, March 3rd, 6:15pm.

(In conjunction with the College Art Association conference)


Installation view A Probability Bordering on Certainly:

The Anne Frank Project (Das Wesentliche and Handwriting Analysis)

 Film/Video Series:

Thursday, February 22nd, 7pm

Thursday, March 1st, 7pm

13th Flr. Screening Room,

112 S. Michigan Avenue

Dept. of Film/Video,

School of the Art Institute

List of works to be screened is here.

Detail from A Probability Bordering on Certainly:

The Anne Frank Project (Combing Shawl)


Panel Discussion:

Thursday, March 15th, 7pm

Hokin Theatre, Columbia College

623 S. Wabash

Participants and more information is here.

Project Acknowledgements are here


A 32-page color catalog, with a new essay by Marguerite Feitlowitz, will be published by Gallery 312 in conjunction with "The Anne Frank Project."

Please e-mail us to order a copy if you are unable to visit the installation.


Read an article by Achy Obejas about the exhibition from the Chicago Tribune, click here.