MY MEMORIAL ORAL HISTORIES: BUDAPEST, BUCHENWALD BOYS AND POLAND, 2004-2014
Three wooden benches 1.7m x 50cm x 40cm, three headphones and three MP3 players. Total playing time 4 hours and 42 minutes. Image courtesy of the artist and Anna Schwartz Gallery, Melbourne.
Witness to history: remembrance and the Holocaust.
“The traditional monument (the tombstone) can also be used as a mourning site for lost loved ones, just as memorials have marked past victories. The same object can perform both functions.” – James Edward. Young, The Texture of Memory: Holocaust Memorials and Meaning, Yale University Press, 1993.
My Memorial Oral Histories: Budapest, Buchenwald Boys and Poland, 2004-2014 presents three benches with coffin-like proportions, along with extensive audio, that combines both private and collective histories. From the sites of the Sachsenhausen and the Auschwitz camps, historians reflect on the Holocaust. A parent’s story of survival at Oscar Schindler’s factory in Poland is relayed through second generation testimony. Personal testimony and song are heard as part of memorial events in Budapest, and in Melbourne, from the Buchenwald Boys. The 'my' in the title 'My memorial’ indicates the personal history at the heart of this commemorative work, where the artist has combined both aural and spatial narratives into a sculptural form. The presence of absence, of the lives lost and the absence of tombstones for burials is explored through sound and as the viewer participates in the aural space while sitting on a bench they are engaging in a form of remembrance.
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