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As the first person in my extended family to return to Berlin after my relatives were forced out in 1939, I am a bridge. I am actively trying to understand our history and its effects on my present. The Holocaust left lasting imprints on my family— trauma which was never processed, and has been consequently passed down generationally. The weight of what I have been carrying is so much larger than anything I could have produced on my own — as if this pressure had been incubating in past generations and its physical manifestation birthed in me.

 

Painting has long since been a vessel through which I have processed experiences, both consciously and subconsciously. Over time, painting and art-making have become incredibly burdensome and no longer an emotional outlet nor means for healing. Being in Berlin has felt inexplicably oppressive at times, compounded with the pressure I feel to make it as an artist. It sometimes feels as if I am living out a life that is not mine, living out the lives my relatives were not able to, to try to close this circle, find continuity, and bridge generations.

The process of transporting my paintings by foot during my multiple moves in Berlin gave birth to an idea -- that transversing the city and memorializing my artwork in the context of my and my relatives' homes in Berlin may expand or release intergenerational dialogue. The process of being a passerby, a carrier for something much larger than myself, might actually encourage generational healing — bringing awareness and emphasis back to the houses from which my relatives were forced to leave, or from which they were deported and ultimately executed. On two blustery days of January 2024, I set out by foot and using the S- and U-Bahn to visit eight significant locations in Berlin, spanning east to west, linking my residences with those where my ancestors/relatives lived, from which they had to flee, or from which they were deported and ultimately executed.

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Shot on Kodak Portra 400 on a Hasselblad 500c/m by Frank Buchta, 2024. All rights reserved.

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