Joanne Rosenthal

Public Talks and Workshop
Buenos Aires, Argentina

November 2019


On Friday 22 November 2019, curator Joanne Rosenthal grave the lecturer “La sangre en cuestión: Del Museo Judío de Londres a la posdictatura argentina” [Blood into Question. From the Jewish Museum in London to Argentina’s Posdictatorship] at the IDES. During the talk, Rosenthal shared insights about her experience of conceptualising, shaping, and curating the exhibition “Blood: Uniting & Dividing” at the Jewish Museum London. The critically-acclaimed exhibition, which toured in an expanded form to the POLIN Museum in Warsaw and the Galicia Jewish Museum in Krakow, explored the fluid and paradoxical nature of blood through the lens of Jewish history while considering how blood has been both a substance and a symbol that has united and divided individuals and groups. Rosenthal addressed the current resonances of the exhibition’s themes and issues of blood in the context of the aftermath of Argentina’s dictatorship. The talk was a joint event organised by Staging Difficult Pasts and the research group Núcleo Estudios de Memoria.

As part of Staging Difficult Pasts partnership with the Parque de la Memoria, on 23 November 2019, British curator Rosenthal also led the workshop “Exhibiendo la ausencia y la pérdida: Objetos, narrativas y trauma” [Exhibiting Absence and Loss: Objects, Narratives and Trauma on Display” at the Park’s PayS exhibition room. The workshop considered the question of how to display or represent objects and narratives which relate to trauma and loss, particularly in relation to issues of identity, family, sexuality, and kinship. While drawing upon a wide spectrum of international case studies, Rosenthal introduced how museums, curators, and artists have made creative use of the limitations and opportunities involved in exhibiting absence and loss in expanded landscapes. While providing new experimental insights and tools to approach the staging of difficult pasts, the event propitiated a fruitful professional exchange among more than 50 local representatives of museums and human rights activists, artists, curators, intellectuals, survivors, and professionals working at memory sites in Argentina. Nora Hochbaum and Florencia Battiti, director and chief curator at the Park, also participated in the workshop.

Joanne Rosenthal is a freelance exhibition curator and museum consultant with over 15 years’ experience working in the arts and museums sectors. Until 2018, she was Chief Curator and Head of Exhibitions at Jewish Museum London where she was responsible for producing some of the museum’s most celebrated exhibitions, including Jews Money Myth (March - October 2019). She currently works as a museum consultant for Jewish heritage projects in the UK, Ireland, and Finland.

Link to the Parque’s write-up of the workshop


STAGING DIFFICULT PASTS is an AHRC funded project: Grant reference: AH/R006849/1