In May of 2009 I was honored to be invited to present my work in a solo exhibition in connection with the Santa Barbara Choral Society’s performances of Verdi’s Requiem. The Requiem was performed in conjunction with a commemorative concert in the Czech Republic, and was dedicated to the inmates of the Terezin Ghetto, who performed this music under the leadership of the courageous Austrian conductor, Rudolf Shachter, while imprisoned during World War II. The program cover image is a digital collage entitled ‘Missing Women’, which includes photographs of Elsa Kohn, my grandmother, and a map of the pre-war Jewish neighborhood of Berlin. Read More
In “A Na Troskach Ghetta Budeme se Smat [ On the Ruins of the Ghetto We Will Laugh]” I incorporate the words of a song composed by Karel Svenk in Terezin, to honor the strength of the artist’s and the survivor’s spirit. The image includes an altered passport photo of my mother, and a portion of a post-war psychiatrist’s report documenting her emotional condition as a result of her wartime experiences. Read More
“Berlin Story” is a two plate monotype with chine colle, 9″square plate size, made after our epic voyage to Prague and Berlin in2007 for my exhibitions in the Czech Republic. Finding a way to respond to my very mixed feelings about traveling in the ‘new’ Germany in my art has been a challenge. Berlin is exciting, vibrant, full of avant garde art, architecture, great food, and they have done a good job of taking responsibility for the past through public art projects, some grand scale, some very small and subtle. But imagine strolling through the hippest gallery scene, looking down and seeing a shiny brass plug in the street announcing, ‘here was the home of Mrs Klein, deported on June 27, 1942…’. , ‘here was the shop of Mr. Fleischman, the kosher butcher, arrested on May 1, 1943.’ My heart stops and I don’t know quite where I am in this landscape.
So these plates are an evocation of what was there, and what was lost, using as collage elements photos of my grandmother as a young woman, and an old letter I found in an antiquarian bookshop in Kreuzberg (another up and coming gallery area in Berlin). Read More
Cellular Memory #1 is a monotype with chine colle, 11″square plate. After a pleasant detour into buddhist imagery this spring, I have returned to my personal narrative (again). The 50 pieces I took to the Czech republic, which were about documentation of other peoples’ lives and memories, have remained there, donated to the Kampa Museum in Prague, and the Terezin Ghetto Museum, as well as with my private collectors. Now finally I dare to expose my self at the center of my work in looking at the psychological phenomenon of transmission of trauma. This piece is composed of a drawing done of me in Paris when my parents were waiting for their visas and boat to Canada in 1948, overlain with my father’s written description of his unsuccessful efforts to find his first child after the war, and his final loss of hope. How did his memories become mine, since he never spoke about them? Read More