In 'A Kaddish for Bernie Madoff,' an exploration—and excommunication—of the fallen financier

“What goes up must come down.” “All good things must come to an end.” “Nothing gold can stay.” Artists and aphorists through the ages have sought to remind us — in case sunsets, autumns and deaths weren’t reminder enough — of the universe’s essential nature. Still, no shape is so alluring to our small, scared selves as the upward-sloping line.

Case in point? The Bernie Madoff scandal, in which thousands of individual and institutional investors — not to mention regulators and Madoff’s peers — were beguiled by the wealth manager’s impossibly consistent, positive returns — by the fantasy of a smooth, steadily rising course through the inevitable boom and bust of the market.

I previewed Portland artist Alicia Jo Rabins’ multidisciplinary performance piece about the Madoff scandal for the Oregonian. Thought-provoking just to write about—can’t wait to see it.

JF