What does the collision of the opposing forces like Good and Evil look like when represented on a large scale visually? Inspired by their reading of Elie Wiesel’s Night and using the tennis court fence as their canvas, Mr. Artist’s freshman English students set about answering that question.
In Night, Wiesel’s sheds light on his experiences with his father in the Nazi German concentration camps at Auschwitz and Buchenwald at the height of the Holocaust during World War II. One of the lasting themes of the book is what happens when good and evil collide? Mr. Artist assigned each English 9 class one of three roles: good, evil, or the point where the two forces collide, then gave them specific rules and materials with which to create their project.
Good (period 3): This group could only use white trash bags, which could be cut or manipulated into other shapes. The bags had to be tied to fence so they could freely interact with the environment. The class decided on celestial imagery to convey peace and light.
Evil (period 8): This group could only use black trash bags. Their bags could not be cut or manipulated, and had to be woven into fence and therefore bound by the structure. The class decided to depict railroad tracks, the main conduit by which prisoners were shipped off to concentration camps during the holocaust.
Collision (period 5): This group had to use both black and white trash bags. The same rules from the other groups applied to their bags. The students chose to depict a crematory chimney with a heart stemming from it like smoke, and framed this central piece with a black and white weave.
Their installation was on display for several days. Afterward, on May 5th, the Chatham Synagogue commemorated Yom HaShoah (Day of Holocaust remembrance) with a public service. As an addition to their program, the Synagogue made large prints from photos of the student’s Night installation and displayed them around the Synagogue.