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© Nicolas Couturieux

Never Again and Never Forget are both works of remembrance, striving to raise collective awareness to tackle the horrors of our times. These two original works have been reproduced in lithographs by Walter Editions.

The roots of the statement Never Again can be traced to the cry of rebellion and hope from Buchenwald concentration camp survivors, in the wake of their liberation in 1945. By taking the condemnation of the Holocaust as a starting point, this rallying cry has become universal, as it has been used to excoriate all genocidal campaigns that have occurred over the 20thcentury, notwithstanding its promises and beliefs of progress and social transformation. Drawing inspiration from the same source, Never Forget, meaningfully resonates with Never Again, by urging each and every one to address the duty of remembrance and transmission, in order to prevent the perpetuation of such appalling crimes.

Tania Mouraud has imagined and created these two separate but unequivocally correlative pieces, following the murder of Mireille Knoll in Paris, on March 23rd, 2018, and the commemorative rally in her memory staged on March 28th.

And so, Never Again and Never Forget come across as a rallying cry of political protest. More than seventy years after the Holocaust, and regardless the transmission of memory handed down to us by the work of historians, anti-Semitism had yet again struck a woman who was able to survive a roundup of Jews, during the German occupation when she was only a child. After a long string of hate crimes, starting with the murders of Ilan Halimi in 2006, to those of several children attending the Ozar Hatorah school in 2012, the killing of Sarah Halimi in Paris in 2017 and the kosher supermarket siege in Porte de Vincennes in 2015, indignation and blame were no longer enough to contain the alarming revival of gruesome anti-Semitism. It has become critical for us to address this development, to urge for a unanimous political protest, and to make a strong call for a process of collective reflection.

 Never Again and Never Forget may thus be considered as two strong political art pieces addressing the duty of remembrance and dealing with the intrusion of unbearable violence, both acting as a reminder and as a wake-up call. However, both pieces have also been created, just like HCYS?as a call urging reflection, reasoning and deciphering the whole range of developments they deal with.

With such pieces as her Wall Paintings and Écritures, Mouraud has carried, since the 1980s, a ground-breaking fundamental research, either on political slogans, as an ideological contraction of language in the service of a cause, and on advertising slogans, as post-ideological depletion of language in the service of consumer goods. By focusing first and foremost on the effectiveness of the message, the political slogan strongly engages people’s minds, as it triggers off fleeting forces, and yet it hardly remains in the long-term political consciousness and fails to pass on the memory to younger generations. Whereas the advertising slogan, which has been specifically createdto become obsolete and to elusively chase an endless renewal, is steadily replacing the void left by the former.

Mouraud’s seminal research work has led to the development of a creative and original way of writing that cannot be grasped in a fleeting and puzzled glimpse. It is through quality time, destined to pay attention and to decipher what is there to be seen, that a clever eye would catch the logic behind language. It would thus unveil the meaningful power of words, on a renewed and deeper level of understanding. Due to their heuristic dimension, Never Again and Never Forget, both restore their dignity as subjects to the active and involved viewers, while encouraging them to seek out an explanation for a message, that our daily-based communication language has articulated as a categorical imperative; even if it is just for a momentary support or a bold outburst of outrage and empathy.

Unrelentingly struggle, so that those appalling events in our History are not forgotten, Never Again and Never Forget both condemn and challenge our intelligence and critical thinking skills, in order to fight together against the rising tide of hatred of otherness.