Jerusalem Artists House
Gallery Talk: 13.9.2014 at 12 pm
30.8.2014 - 18.10.2014
Varda Carmeli – Memory and Forgetfulness
"Thanks solely to forgetfulness do we live our lives and they live thanks to memory." (T. Carmi)
"I See Memory" writes the artist Varda Carmeli at the beginning of her book of photographs "Decapsulation", a book that brings together her "Berlin experience", photographs that she shot when she began her journey to the city from which her mother and family departed when the Nazis came into power in 1933.
Can we see memory? According to the theories of Freud and Jung memory is always present in our consciousness. Part of it breaks out in our dreams; it is there that we see memory and, paradoxically, also sense it even when the memory is not ours but rather that of our family and loved ones.
Therefore Carmeli's memory is not only her own private one but is also the collective memory. It is that selfsame memory mentioned by Freud in his perspective on the subject. In consequence, "her" Berlin is not only "hers" and not only "Berlin" – Berlin is an existential and spiritual situation. It is a Berlin of photographing crystal vessels on a background of black and gray, transparent and nontransparent, bearing a heritage that once was and is no more, bearing a memory that is collective but also private – a secret memory of each and every one of us.
Miri Krimolowsky, Curator