Per Noi: conversations with the ancestors
(New work in Progress, Platinum/Palladium Prints)
During my time in Italy and Germany I became ever increasingly aware of the importance these countries place on the wisdom of those that came before. In Berlin, for example, the acknowledgment of the realities of WWII is genuine, raw and ever present. For me, someone of Jewish heritage, the visit to Berlin was intense and life changing. All over Berlin the phrase used isn’t what I grew up with in America: “6 million Jews were Killed in the holocaust”, the phrase is “6 million Jews were Murdered in the holocaust”. This simple turn of phrase changed my entire understanding of ownership of ones past. The Germans aren’t using euphemisms for what happened, they are acknowledging the deeds of their ancestors and learning from them.
The experience I had in Italy was different but also powerful. While visiting cemeteries in Tuscany I began to notice that in the crypts there were often chairs set up in pairs; symbolizing, or maybe actually allowing for, conversation. The implication seemed to be, come in, sit down, and let us share with you our wisdom. In times of such upheaval in the US, the profound connection that these two countries have to their history, and the invitation to learn from it gives me hope that we too can learn from our past mistakes. For as we know
“Those who can not remember the past are condemned to repeat it” George Santayana
Per Noi: Conversations with the Ancestors was inspired by these two experiences and speaks to my desire for us to never forget the wisdom of the ages.