Som Chai meets my family & friends
I am so excited that Som Chai is now in Oz and has been granted a partner visa.
He's met my family and friends, and even come along to Uni with me.
It is wonderful having him here with me - no more lonely nights or awkward outings on my own!
I can throw my wish list in the fire now because he fulfils all my dreams. I am so proud of him - he is charismatic, generous and kind, and he is also Budhist and a meditator!
I wondered whether there was a difference between art made by a human and art made by a machine? So I made a fan that painted, and I became a painting human fan.
Conclusion: there was no difference.
Just an Ordinary Peasant is based on my uncle’s experience as an inmate at Treblinka extermination camp in 1944. His memoir recounts that while being forced to carry corpses from the gas chambers to an open-air pyre, he was handed a sack which held little children who were still alive. The guard commanded the sack be thrown into the fire. The woman I play in Just an Ordinary Peasant is a hybrid character created from the memoirs of my uncle, my parents and my own research. She sings and dances and also throws a sack of babies into the fire. This piece explores my own biases as well as questions the culpability of ‘ordinary people’ who were accomplices to the atrocities carried out during the Third Reich.
In June 2009, I, together with my father, my four children and niece, travelled to Poland, the Czech Republic and Munich to retrace my parents’ past. I saw this trip back to ‘our roots’ not only as a personal, historical and educational event, but also as an opportunity to create an artistic interpretation of our experience.
The video installation, Dancing Auschwitz stemmed from my desire to create artwork that conveys a new response to historical memory. I consider this to be a necessary moral lesson, which might otherwise be neglected or forgotten.
Dancing Auschwitz comprises three primary video pieces:
The major component of this project is the I Will Survive video. Even though it is a celebration of life, it also evokes absence, loss and mourning. In this dance, the family, comprising three generations, improvised a dance to the pop song ‘I will survive’ (Gloria Gaynor, 1978). We performed at numerous traumatic sites where my parents had been prisoners during the Holocaust.
I Will Survive and The Documentary video were filmed during our family trip while Old Family Footage is from a family home movie from my childhood.
By creating a new response incorporating dance, the generations and memory, I have endeavoured to capture the poignancy of the past, the uncertainty of the present, and a hope for a more tolerant future.
I Will Survive
Old Family Footage
How Does it Feel?
Dancing Auschwitz goes viral
LOVE, HATE & HEALING