I looked at my own family and their relationship with our Jewish Heritage. The project is an uncompromising excavation of my family's history, in familiar and unfamiliar spaces, made through dialogues, performances (sittings) and 'encounters' with documents and objects, uncovering the complexities of remembering and forgetting.
I understood when I started the process of unpicking a family history that has the trauma of displacement and loss of life, that I was entering un-discussed and unknown territory. There was a real dilemma about what to reveal and what to keep from public view especially as my great grandmother rarely expressed any desire to discuss the war. I discovered hidden stories, kept for a lifetime, and answers to questions only raised a multitude more. It is one thing to know a history and another to feel it.
So far I have made a series of documents that are testament to a life; the attempt to remake a life after the destruction of everything once known and believed in. I emerge from this. I am the first generation of my family to have been able to engage with following a trail of documentation and discoveries.
I hope that what I have been able to create is lasting. I started on a visual journey creating a narrative from stories passed down the family; found that I wanted to document my family’s physical environment and who lived there. I then looked back into archival material and then followed a trail of documentation back to Vienna where my family originated from before the war. What I have ended up with includes written experience, observation, and reflection.