The Topography of Memory

Mikael Levin explores ways that photography and video can situate the commonalities of the everyday in a larger historical context.

Levin was brought up in a family of writers and artists, with a strong sense of Jewish cultural identity instilled by his father, himself a first generation American estranged from his Lithuanian-Jewish migrant parents. Mixed in was a Catholic heritage instilled by his French mother, yet itself filtered by her migrant parent’s Polish-Jewish culture. Modernity was the glue, set within the overarching shadow of the Holocaust and the fading hope of the Zionist enterprise.

No doubt shaped by these cross currents, Levin has maintained an American / European polarity, with projects that often intersect the particulars of his family history with the general movements and major events of the 20th century.

Mikael Levin has been exhibited widely in the US and in Europe, including solo exhibitions at the Jewish Museum, Paris, 2010, the Berardo Museum, Lisbon, 2009, the Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris, 2003, the International Center of Photography, New York, 1997, and Fundacion Mendoza, Caracas, 1980. His work was included in the Venice Biannual in 2003.

His work is represented in major collections such as those of the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, the Metropolitan Museum, New York, the Jüdisches Museum, Berlin, the Fonds National d’Art Contemporain, Paris, and Moderna Museet, Stockholm.