Encrypted Histories

For Nuit Blanche 2019 at the Museum of Jewish Montreal, we delved into the story that inspired Yuula Benivolski's The Ocean Between Us, that began when the artist found a stack of encrypted letters written in the 1970s by her great-granduncle, a political dissident in Russia, to his daughter in Jerusalem.

The installation was designed to facilitate an immersive experience that draws the visitor in to the process of decryption. Upon entering the gallery, visitors gathered around the decryption chamber to listen to live letter readings in Russian, English, and French that took place from inside the structure. Visitors were then invited to explore the letters and the rest of Yuula's work from inside the encrypted chamber.