a cryptojudaic reading room

12 October – 6 November 2023
Mon – Fri 10am – 3pm
Saturdays 11am – 4pm

Public event:
Friday 20 Oct @ 1:30 – 3pm
Please register

Bath House Galleries
Huddersfield, UK


The cryptojudaic reading room at Bath House Gallery launches a new phase in the Judaica project, a line of artistic research led by Ben Spatz. The first decade of the Judaica project (2012–2022) was an open-ended exploration of contemporary diasporic jewish identity through songwork. It adapted a laboratory theatre methodology to the context of university-based artistic research and generated numerous written and audiovisual publications.

cryptojudaica (2023–) marks the shift from an open-ended approach emphasizing diaspora and methodology toward a more focused intention to disentangle jewishness from whiteness and develop new forms of institutionality in apprenticeship to black and indigenous studies. Historically, cryptojews were those forced to undergo conversion who nevertheless continued to practice jewish ways of living in secret. Here the term is used to name the complex relations between jewishness and whiteness in the present, which may involve a mixture of coerced assimiliation, voluntary complicity, and critical resistance.

Works exhibited:

reading room (chevruta)
participatory installation with desk, books, worksheets

108 randomized Instagram videos on three channels

three-channel looping video installation

the human ceremony
single-channel video (7:28)


Nazlıhan Eda Erçin, Lab Team (2017)
Agnieszka Mendel, Lab Team (2017)
Caroline Gatt, Lab Guest (2017)
Lxo Cohen, Research Associate (2022-23)