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Zei Gezunt Vernissage

October 25 @ 19:00 - 21:00

The Museum of Jewish Montreal (MJM) is honoured to announce the opening of its upcoming exhibition ZEI GEZUNT // PORTE-TOI BIEN // KEEP WELL, a grandson’s exploration of his grandfather’s inventions, transformed into works of art that tell a story of resourcefulness, resilience, and interconnectedness. A cross-generational collaboration between Lejb Pilanski, a 99-year-old Jewish former sweatshop worker, survivor, and refugee, and his grandson Sean Wainsteim, the exhibition tells the story of an immigrant for whom resourcefulness and an adaptable nature were necessary means of survival.
Vernissage : 19h00-21h00
Free entrance
Cash bar available at Fletchers – Espace Culinaire
ZEI GEZUNT // PORTE-TOI BIEN // KEEP WELL, which inaugurates MJM’s 2018-2019 exhibition series Movement & Migrations, centres on Lejb’s improvised household objects — at turns whimsical, practical, and emotional – which are displayed alongside archival documents that map Lejb’s journey as a refugee following World War II. Echoing Lejb’s disparate creations, the exhibition mixes constructed objects, personal materials, photography, typography, textiles and audio/video. These displaced-objects-made-useful are evocative pieces of the struggle of a once displaced man.
The exhibition will run from October 25, 2018 to January 20, 2019. The Museum will be offering related story-telling events, artist talks, and educational programming inspired by and exploring the exhibition’s themes.
// About the Artists //
Lejb Pilanski, the son of a tailor and handy-man, was born in Poland in 1919. During World War II, Lejb was in the Russian Army. His entire family perished. After the war, Lejb met Ester, his future wife. They were smuggled into France where they had a daughter. In 1950, they entered Canada through Montreal as displaced person refugees.
At 99, Lejb still lives in the modest Toronto home he bought in the 1960s. A former sweatshop tailor, he constructed a sewing room and workshop in his basement. There he invents and innovates, turning used objects into unique creations.
The proud grandson of Lejb Pilanski, Sean Wainsteim is an award winning filmmaker, writer and artist living in Toronto, Canada. A graduate of OCAD, Sean splits his time between commercial, documentary and personal film projects. Sean often uses magic-realism to explore the spaces between history and memory. Sean’s commercial work can be found at www.livingmonolith.com.
Sean began assembling ZEI GEZUNT // PORTE-TOI BIEN // KEEP WELL shortly after his grandmother Ester, Lejb’s wife, passed in January 2017. Sean tried to approach the creation and curation of the show in the same exploratory whimsical spirit he finds in his grandfather’s objects.
// About Movement & Migrations //
The Movement & Migrations exhibition series confronts local and global mobilities, whether physical, spiritual, ideological, or emotional. Where an exhibition is a story, this series creates space for visual narratives that explores displacement, transition, loss, and/or the (re)creation of belonging. Through Movement & Migrations, importance is placed on engaging with stories different than our own, but also recognizing ourselves in the stories of others – an increasingly important and necessary encounter in the current political climate.
// About the Museum of Jewish Montreal //
The Museum of Jewish Montreal (MJM) is a not-for-profit organization that explores and shares the diverse histories and experiences of Montreal’s Jewish community. Through innovative, multidisciplinary programming, our museum provides an accessible gateway for people across Canada to learn about and interact with Montreal’s Jewish culture, art and heritage while also enabling the public to share their stories and experiences.


October 25
19:00 - 21:00