IN 2013, acclaimed Australian artist Ella Dreyfus spent time as artist-in-residence at the Cite Internationale des Artes, an artists’ colony in the Marais district of Paris, where she created artworks around the city featuring the words “Je m’appelle Dreyfus, je suis juive” (My name is Dreyfus, I am a Jew) as part of a contemporary art installation.
“This was 18 months before the Je Suis Charlie campaign exploded over France and internationally in January this year,” she says. “My images speak to the important social and political issues of today, especially regarding anti-Semitism in France.”
Dreyfus, a senior lecturer in photography and Head of Public Programs at the National Arts School in Darlinghurst, has created an online photographic exhibition of these artworks.
She installed the words “Je m’appelle Dreyfus, je suis juive” on buildings and streets in Paris to evoke the sensations of Jewish children hidden in the city during the Holocaust.
“I created these artworks to link the legacy of my family name, Dreyfus, with the traumas experienced by children in times of war.”
She says the exhibition is a declaration of Jewish identity, linking the legacy of her German Jewish heritage and family name Dreyfus with the memory of Captain Alfred Dreyfus, the French Jewish army captain who fought against an unjust 1894 court case where he was convicted of treason, and the traumas experienced by children in the Holocaust.
To see the online photographic exhibition Je m’appelle Dreyfus, je suis juive visit www.elladreyfus.gallery.
REPORT by Danny Gocs
PHOTO: Artist Ella Dreyfus takes her message to a playground in Paris.