Night and light, Albin Michel, 2021
“I am pushing the workshop gate and entering a silence most pregnant with presence. Each morning, there they are, behind their granite stares. Alive. Awaiting me, thus scattered about the paved courtyard that the grass slowly does invade. Shapes that my own hands had sculpted. Past shapes, or shapes to come. Through them I can engrave a word made of stone in the book of memories, anything my body can remember, anything that celebrates the very rhythm of life at/through my fingertips, even more powerful than the heart of death. I can utter nothing, neither can I remain silent.
Whoever has known the concentration camps could never break free from that. There they stand, every single night, and every single morning along with them those who have been assassinated by my side, witnesses of an absolute and shapeless darkness I keep hammering away at to sculpt hope.
Shelomo Selinger, a Polish Jew, entered Nazi hell at the age of fourteen. Within four years of horror, he experienced nine concentration camps and two Todesmärsche. How could he survive? “Instinct, providence, brotherhood. And then oblivion,”he replies. Total amnesia took hold of him from the day he was released, and for seven long years protected him from the ghosts of the Holocaust. It did not dissipate until he truly came to life thanks to a double encounter: that of Love and Art.
Since then, Shelomo Selinger has never ceased to bear witness with his drawings and monumental sculptures which stand in Drancy, La Courneuve, Luxembourg or in the Alley of the Righteous of Nations at the Yad Vashem memorial in Jerusalem.
But the artist also celebrates childhood, womanhood, the hope he embodies in wood and granite. And in the book in which the writer Laurence Nobécourt lent him her fiery style, he declares his unalterable love for Life: “There is nothing more sacred than Life. Even God is not as sacred. “
Traduction de Narjisse Moumna