Young’s introduction deals with the issue of the post-holocaust generation of artists seeking to ‘remember’ this event even though they were not direct witness. Post-memory is a term used to describe the inheritance of memory, as each generation moves further away from the moment of witness. This generation of artists therefore uses a combination of history and memory to bear witness, as memory and fact work to support each other.
Artists and thinkers have dealt with the issue of representing the holocaust and how art representing the Holocaust has the danger of being in some way redemptory. The aesthetics must therefore address their own inadequacy in representation. Memorial artists in Germany have the challenge of representing the shame in the memorial landscape of the country, combining remembrance and self-indictment.
One of the memory-artists Young wishes to examine in the text is artist and author Art Spiegelman. Spiegelman wrote the famed “comix” Maus in which he interviewed his father and compiled a unique examination of the Holocaust through his father’s survival testimony and his own filtration of memory as a child of a survivor.
Representing the Holocaust poses a difficult and unique challenge as it would problematic for a memorial to be erected that sought to be redemptory in some kind