Violence Meets Solitude at Jewish Museum's Jack Goldstein Exhibit

Late Artist Spent His Career Trying To Disappear

Falling Man: Jack Goldstein’s 1978 film ‘The Jump’ depicts a man diving into darkness. The film proves an apt metaphor for the career of the late artist whose work is now on view at The Jewish Museum in New York.
james welling
Falling Man: Jack Goldstein’s 1978 film ‘The Jump’ depicts a man diving into darkness. The film proves an apt metaphor for the career of the late artist whose work is now on view at The Jewish Museum in New York.

By Adam Langer

Published June 04, 2013, issue of June 07, 2013.
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Toward the end of the exhibit, you stop to gaze at a work from the twilight of Goldstein’s career, the artist’s last completed film, “Underwater Sea Fantasy.” The eruption of volcanoes gives way to silent images of oceanic life and then finally to a lunar eclipse. You watch the moon fading towards blackness, you stand there and watch it fading, fading…

But now you notice you’re not alone anymore. Either the breakfast on the floor above has ended or someone else has decided to avoid the crowd and see the exhibit before anyone else. The woman in the gallery next to you watching “Underwater Sea Fantasy” is taking furious notes on a piece of paper.

“Oh, God, oh God,” she says. “Look at that — isn’t that beautiful?”

She’s right. And yet, now that the silence has been disrupted, the beautiful moment is gone. Forever.

“Jack Goldstein x 10,000” will be at The Jewish Museum of New York until September 29.

Adam Langer is the arts and culture editor of the Forward.


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