Artist comments: I have recently been working extensively with the subject of my great-grandmother’s diaries, written in French from 1919 – 1951. These diaries are intimate accounts spanning 32 years of a young Jewish woman’s life in New York City at the turn of the century. For this piece I recreated pages from her diary using a matte-medium photographic process, so that the final product is semi-translucent and skin-like. I then sewed together envelopes using the pages of an old french grammar guide from the 1940s to hold these pages.
This memorial to the artist’s great-grandmother connects two individuals separated by a century and a language barrier by matching the intentional work of both sets of careful hands. This conceptual portrait invites the viewer to quietly explore the impact of ancestral research, memory, language, and the first person narratives on our own identities and our life’s works.