Insurance value 2000 Euros
or else features the artist Tanya Ury to the left of the picture, sitting in three-quarter view. Digitally incorporated into the photograph and facing her to the right, is the German-Jewish author Else Sara Ury (1877-1943). Tanya dresses and poses similarly to Else and mimics her facial expression. Else and Tanya share the same surname. Tanya Ury's grandmother Hedwig Ury (neé Ullmann), like Else Ury, also perished in Auschwitz, but a year later in 1944.
or else is the consequence of lesser is me more or less 2003, Tanya Ury's photographic portrait of herself and the early 20th Century German painter Lesser Ury.
Else Ury was a best-seller author of German children's books including "Nesthäkchen" (baby of the family - Germans call a spoiled child or family pet a Nesthäkchen), a series of 10, which follow the Christian protagonist Annemarie Braun's life from infancy to old age and grandchildren. Her books are still available in German bookshops, albeit in shortened and modern-language form; they were directed at a female readership, expounding a traditional view of the bourgeois family and the woman's role.
Her book "Nästhäkchen und der Weltkrieg" (Nästhäckchen and the World War) was however problematic in that it glorified war. To "Jugend voraus!" (Youth advance!) Else Ury's last published book of 1933, Marianne Brentzel moreover states:
"Else Ury was an apolitical, conservative, bourgeois, German woman, who observed the massive suffering of the unemployed with great human interest but with the slipstream of mass enthrallment for Hitler, saw a possible solution for the country's deep crisis. In 1933 she shut her eyes to the political reality, as she had done all her life, regarding all matters in the public eye. She once again tried to consecrate the status of the idealised, German family."
Marianne Brentzel: Nesthäkchen kommt ins KZ, S. 154
Although half of all German women have read her stories (over 7 million copies were sold altogether), the fact of her murder was only publicised in Germany 50 years later; even the TV Xmas series of 1983 that was often repeated in Germany, suppressed this information.
Post Script 2008
While researching for this work I discovered the German Wikipedia site; the first line read:
“Else Ury (* 1. November 1877 in Berlin; † 13. Januar 1943 im Konzentrationslager Auschwitz)“
I contacted Wikipedia to say how inappropriate the cross symbol as an appendage to Else Ury’s death date was - to employ the cross, a Christian symbol, in the case of a murdered Jewish women is a double faux pas. I suggested the expression “date of death” would be more suitable in this case.
Wikipedia replied that a debate regarding which symbol to utilise when denoting a person’s death had taken place online a couple of years previously; a consensus had been found and it was agreed that the cross glyph would be employed as a format on all Wikipedia web pages. The matter was now closed.
In the light of their decision I was surprised to discover the following explanation on the English-speaking Wikipedia:
Ury has also created other artworks that might be considered visual poetry. Moving Message 1992, incorporates an LED sign displaying the words: you are why; Sonata in Sea 1999-2000 is a photo series combined with poetry and wrestlewithyourangel 2001, is a neon sign produced together with the neon sign neonazi 2001; the title of a double photo portrait lesser is me more or less 2003 plays on the name of the German Post-Impressionist Lesser Ury, as does the title of a further double portrait or else 2007, which refers to the German writer Else Ury. The title of a third photo-portrait Beelzebularin 2005 (in the Promised Land series) reveals itself to be an anagram of the biblical Bezalel Ben Uri. half dimensional - semi detached 2010, combines the first of the half dimensional poems with the photograph semi detached.
Concrete poetry in the series:
femiNINIty – femininiation 1984 & 2011