Monday, February 14, 2011
Preparing for Poland and a Question of Identity
With my return from London, I've quickly plunged into my next two projects. The first is my upcoming show in Radom, Poland, the town of my grandfather's birth. The show will be of artwork based on the former Jewish community and derived from a 1937 film created by a visiting former resident. My artwork will represent one part of the exhibition. The other with which I am also deeply involved is telling the story of my friend Dora, a former Radom resident. Dora, a survivor of Auschwitz and Bergen-Belsen settled in my community after the war. She has shared her stories with me through many hours of interviews as well as her scrapbooks of photos that capture a time before the war and during the ghetto. My task has been to complete, edit and link our hours of interviews to the photos that best tell her story. I share this in turn with the arts & culture center in Radom to translate the interviews to Polish for their audience for this portion of the exhibit. In between I try to complete the paintings I plan to bring with me to Radom. I’ve been working on a few images of the elder religious Jews. While Dora has spent much of her life working with Holocaust education and done many visits to Radom, this will be the first where she speaks to Poles about her memories and experiences. She said to me that she is going with me because she hopes it will prove to be “meaningful”. That is my hope as well although for me personally it has already proven to be that. Sharing the story in Poland will add yet another layer of meaning.