Past is Prologue


When I began this body of work about my family in 2002, I wasn’t certain what it was, or  what it wanted to be. Did it have relevance, or was it simply one more narrative in the long collective history of the Jews in Europe with its periods of uneasy rapprochement culminating in the inhuman denouement of World War II? But  if Art s to hold more than the characteristics of a museum piece must speak to the present generation; not solely with regard to Shoa, but what it means to be human at all.


It may seem a long stretch from life here in the United States to the story of one family born in Lithuania, who lived there over a century ago, who came to this country under duress, and whose story there ended in the fields of Paneriai. Yet generations later that landscape still echoes from the consequences of a war and of a people whose actions were driven by a national idea of themselves. It is my hope that this exhibition raises questions about ideas, beliefs, and the power of ideology as cosmology. With that in mind, I renewed my sojourn into the corpus of collective memory, into the story of family, identity, migration, loss, and celebration.


In the arc of our lives, past is prologue, and it is left to each generation, as Hannah Arendt once said, to stand “committed witness” to what is before us.







Please contact Barbara Michelman for more information.