Soon after the attack on the World Trade center in New York, the Bush administration issued a suite of draconian and wildly ill-conceived  restrictions on travel which resulted in mass detentions of the citizens of 32 Muslim majority nations, and threatened the entire US system of asylum. New and tighter restrictions, including sloppily established 'watch' and 'no fly' lists were being established each day. It occurred to us that while living and working in Germany, myself being of half Jewish heritage and my wife being of German heritage, we were uniquely positioned to raise the alarm and remind people of how slippery a slope ethnic and religious restrictions have been in the recent past, and how quickly they led to dire solutions in a German history still within the memories of living people. It was our position that no provocation could be too wild, loud or insolent to draw attention to a hideous course of incremental juridical racism.


We rented a vacant corner store in the Adler Strasse, hung the exterior with translucent digital prints of street scenes from the 1930's and set up a small but well stocked library with cozy seating in the back, a miniature Madrasa or Midrash where we served tea and invited discussion of the subject of the Semites, the people of Abraham, both Islamic and Jewish. In order to reach that sanctum of learning one had to walk through an exhibition of articles of hand made couture, divided into two collections of 'compulsory wear' (in legal terms) or 'absolute musts' in the lingo of fashion. The first, Semite! was composed of articles of clothing made from artful utilizations of the star of David. The second, Burkas! was an irreverent exploration of a garment designed to hide the female figure, but here presented in various levels of transparency and accessorized with a collection of witty masks and veils. The idea was to incite as furious a reaction as possible and in so doing, provoke as profound a discussion as possible of a much more dangerous topic, a topic no less serious and perhaps even more dangerous today.     

Seth Tillett and Nicole Rauscher Semite! exhibition and discussion room Freiburg Germany 2002

Adler Strasse with digital exterior and a green list of 32 countries over the front door.

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Seth Tillett and Nicole Rauscher Semite! exhibition and discussion room Freiburg Germany 2002

Semite! show post card

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yes you
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semite accessoir
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a Must! of the collection

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far niente bag
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beach burka
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jude skirt 01
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spf factor 40
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No one has the right to obey. Hannah Arendt

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his n hers hides
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purse crass
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far niente rain coat
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jacket 'delicat'
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jude dress 01
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jude dress 02
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lite veil
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tunic 'subtile'
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mic sheik
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mic veil
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cover and comfort
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statement
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rain burka
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tres sheik
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