Installation in @Archive, Summer 2013
National Jewish Archive, Budapest, Hungary
Much of my work focuses on the image of text based on a Cabalistic belief, which explains that two holy books were actually handed down: the Black Torah and the White Torah. The Black one is made of all the black letters while the White Torah is made up of all the space between them – between the words and between the letters — where the Cabalists believed true wisdom could be found.
My interest in working with the National Jewish Archive was twofold: I wanted to make an ‘intervention’ – to make and place artwork into the archive storage itself to start a contemporary dialogue with the objects there. In doing so, the idea of exhibition is re-defined, an ‘inversion’ – as objects are integrated into storage, they re-present the function of the Archive as living document instead of perceiving it as solely a repository of the past.
Artwork Group 1: Black/White Torah
– Solomon’s Wisdom was the first work I did exploring these Cabbalist ideas. I wrote and burnt my text into the accordion paper. It was then ripped apart and stapled back together again. In doing so, each of the pages leave a gaping hole.
– Three papers are printed with the eulogy I said for my mother, then ripped and re-stapled. This physical manifestation of the act of creating is simultaneously, an homage to motherhood as it is a nod to the wisdom that the sum of parts can never equal the whole.
Artwork Group 2: Genisa
– My Genisa series explores the variables of this symbolic container — a traditional receptacle for refuse that contains the name of G-d and therefore is collected for proper burial. My fascination with this object came from my interest in detritus – and its denotative & connotative meaning. I’ve chosen to display several ‘genisas’ – that are not boxes or containers as such, yet the paper ‘contains’ that which must be honored:
– 9/11: is a small work, paper made from actual dust & detritus I collected near Ground Zero in late September 2001. The image printed on the paper is from a photograph I took of marks made into the dust on a nearby window.
– Page: is a sheet with a found page of a prayer book embedded within.
– Book: is a sheet with a book found on the street embedded within.
– 64 Stones – 2 squares – have pinned pieces of a paper with names of God.
Artwork Group 3: Reflections about Shoah
– Just 30 Words is an artist book edition of 30 that responds to the Waldsee postcards.
– Morning Prayer 2: In a tefillin-shaped container, a tiny book with archive & contemporary photographs of the Staircase of Death in Mauthausen labor camp are interspersed with the one-hundred-eighty-six numbers of the steps themselves.