Property of the NYPL Picture Collection

The New York Public Library Picture Collection caches over one million original prints, photos, posters, graphics, magazines, illustrations and texts sorted into thousands of binders, each with a specific category and subject. One binder, “UFOs”, claims to hold and archive our cultural interest in the existence of extraterrestrial life. A binder that was composed into this book. Before Google, the Internet and the ‘age of data’ someone at library attempted to collect and archive the entire volume of visual references published in magazines and newspapers that include pictures and drawings depicting aliens and UFOs. It is needless to say that the alleged attempt failed with a finite number of items in the binder scratching 300 pieces.

In total I checked out 121 items. 121 visual references that represent, according to the binder, our collective memory of UFOs, all of which are directly stamped “PROPERTY OF THE NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY PICTURE COLLECTION”. It became clear to me that this stamp was more than just an odd archivist’s decision, and now an integral part of the image and its composition. Even more bizarre is the strategic decision of the different archivists who over the years stamped the images themselves, literarily. Not on the back side, above or to its margins, but directly on the art-work, image, drawing or anything of visual importance. In the act and process of “archiving” they ultimately imposed an alien element—altering the context of these cultural gems.

Best With a Dash of Worse

Behind every family album there is a curator. The stories that unfold in them are based not on the pictures that were taken, but ones that were printed and chosen for the album. Those who curate our pasts in pictures hold the key to our perception of history. 

Family albums are not only a documentation of our lives, but embody our alleged collective family memory. The more I looked at images that were not mine, the ones I found and bought at flea markets and were random in place and time, the more I found I was able to devise a memory for them. 

My work process is, in a sense, an abuse of the medium of photography. I adopt abandoned, forgotten and misplaced family moments captured in discarded images, and then willfully appropriate and reclaim them as my own. My photographs represent my search for belonging within a space I create. 

best, with a dash of worse attempts at forming a narrative from parts that do not make the same whole, yet it succeeds at doing so when the reader enables its completion. On recognizing the visual language of a family album, readers call into play the personal vocabulary of their own family pictures, and draw upon the archetypal, collective, family album. It is then that the superimposition of two separate yet interrelated sets of conditions, personal and collective, occurs.

Left Missing

The picture on the left, might be missing but also the original albums these black pages came from, the order in which they once were, and the context , the full context, of who are these people, how are they related and where are they coming from. In some way left missing is the left overs of other left overs. For a while now I’ve being collecting found footage, discarded images that once belonged to family archives, and repurpose them giving them a new meaning and a place in my own work. Many of the black album pages are useless in a way if not taken apart and the images used separately. I was discouraged from breaking them apart but also didn’t know exactly what to do with them, so they were left aside. Now that they have accumulated into a critical mass I started seeing how I can insert myself into this very specific, already made, compositions of someone else’s history. The images that didn’t make it through time, fell apart and got lost and are now missing from the black album pages essentially left the door open for me to play off of these partial compositions. Furthermore, the cut out text strips that once made a clear sense in the context of a certain family but now these fragmented pieces of discontinued memories make a new sense in a photo fantasmic context.

Mary ; Mary

A couple of years back I received a box and in that box laid tens of color slides. With a quick glance you could see many sunsets, portraits, snow and landscape. All I knew was that this box was taken from the family’s estate and that they were no longer wanted. With that box I got some personal documents of a lady named Mary. I don’t know much about Mary, but I can tell you that she was a good students with all the school report cards I have carrying her name. 
It could be that the photographer was never Mary herself, but does it even matter? Mary is an anonymous figure who has passed these images over to me and they are now in my possession even if that was never her intention. 
Mary is these slides. She is no longer a tangible notion but a photographic visual that groups all these slides together and it is my responsibility to let them be a part of our visual collective. 

After sifting through the images and trying to fine those ‘best’ photos, I came to a cross road when I found the green parrot eating the ice cream. Some might say the decisive moment is of him eating the ice cream – but can we ignore the moment that came before hand? 
This diptych changed that way I looked at Mary’s images. I started seeing them as short clips of time and movement where one slides leads to the other – creating a clear movement of both time, space and the photographer. 
This action allowed me to both create something new from her images, but in some way allow myself to be her eyes at the time of photographing. 

My work process is, in a sense, an abuse of the medium of photography. I adopt abandoned, forgotten and misplaced visual moments captured in discarded images, and then willfully appropriate and reclaim them as my own. The gap between the truth and these images, between the real situation and the initial context and my ownerships of them, and the fact that these images had become detached from the so called “truth” of time and space, allowed me to enter that void, make it my present, and add a new context to it. 

Ladies are Roses

Ladies are Roses is a mixed media photographic sculpture utilizing found photos from an abandoned house. The portraits are anonymous to me as I have no real connection to who they are or were as people. I covered their faces with found 35mm slides of roses. Roses, for me, are a feminine symbol of women from their sexuality to their traditional manners in society. I made these women anonymous yet universal. They can represent any woman and they allow us to create a new story for them by viewing their portraits.

Dear Artist We Regret To Tell You

Over the last few years I have been sending my work to different websites, grants, publications, competitions, exhibitions and more. Along side some great opportunities and success I encountered a lot of rejection. After a period of several month of rejection after rejection, I started to doubt myself and my work. I was on the bus, on my way back home. I was thinking about this for few months that were filled with rejections. I was speaking to my husband (Yoav Friedlander, also an artist) about my idea to make something out of all of these rejection letters that I had in my inbox. It started as kind of a joke – about making art out of rejection, and the more I thought about it, the more it made sense to do it. I went and looked back at all the emails I've sent over the years – and started to flag some of the letters. Many letters I couldn't use, as they never responded (which is also a form of rejection , yet not one I could have worked with). What people don't know is that, the book might “only” have 13 letters, but in fact I sent submissions to over 300 places in the last few years. I decided to use wall paint swatch colors from Home Depot, first because they are free and easy to get, but also because they hold so much potential in them- The color swatches are titled with promises, some kind of hidden dreams painted with different shades and unique colors. These rejection letters are all the same, none of them are unique, special or more important. The fan format allows you to look at them in no real order, you see them all at once.The fan allows a flow , a different kind of read. I liked the idea that they are all connected in one place – a small grounded place – what keeps it all together from falling apart I wanted to make something that I could look at and not only be inspired by it, but will make me happy. This book was not made out of anger towards the rejecting places, but more from a place of self-doubt and trying to reclaim my artists passion. After I made it, I sent it, as a replay to the original rejection letter, to all the places I used in my Book – wanting to share this with them, inform them and just to see their reaction. Some places never responded, but the places that did respond loved it and actually thanks me which was crazy by itself. The reaction I got online from people was mostly really amazing.

Cache

My family roots back to England, but I was born in Israel. I was a child on a fence; a daughter to a migrating family. The house within culturally stayed European but outside was the Israeli controversial culture. I always felt a misfit with my partial incomplete identity; torn apart between parents who have never blended in to the Middle Eastern culture I felt only half belonged too. Over the years I have heard of my parent’s memories and stories. I remember hearing of snow, youth and happiness. Stories of happier days. The stories held on to the memories of time and culture that I wasn’t a part of, and portraits of family members that always remained anonymous to me and their faces where no more distinct than any other person in generic photo album. These stories were supposed to be my heritage. As I grew up I’ve started to question photography’s function as my memory, as my family heritage. My photographic practice chains together straight and still life photography, found footage from my family history and imagery from family albums. Using photography I've conducted an examination of my history. Due to the migration of my family from England to Israel that history discontinued, and therefore I find it hard do consider it as mine. In order to regain my history I’ve appropriated images, along with ones that I have made myself, and edited them into a book titled “cache memory”. The statement that represents the book is the definition of its title – cache memory. The decision to name the book and present it through this definition is handed down as recognition of what is hidden in photographs, coded and read through context; that photographs can unfold memories but not necessarily the same ones that were originally embedded in them. I’m researching a history that I don’t see as actually mine; Family memories that I am not part of. The images become objects that I use in order to create a new history and memory of my own; people and places as I would like to remember and understand them. I started not only looking for my identity in the old photos but also reflect my feelings from these photos on to the world around me. I look for Moments and objects were there is a tension that is created by their incomplete aesthetic. Photography allows me to look at the little and unimportant objects around me and make them a part of my history just by giving them attention. By looking at them I capture them to remember, not letting them go away, yet not trying to save them. Watching their last seconds before I leave and the moment becomes irrelevant, capturing their last breath. With my camera I grant them with eternity and in that I grant myself a memory.

Dead Water

The Dead Sea is a salt lake with no way out. Surrounding this unique lake grew an industry of pleasure, beauty, healing and myth. People come from all over the world to experience the wonder of the Dead Sea. Kibuts Kalia is one of many small cooperative settlements, hotels and resorts, along the sea that have tried to form a haven from the desert’s abyss. Kalia was well known for their water amusement park, the Atraktzia (attraction – word that was borrowed from English), as an oasis of sweet water in the sea of death. Many Israeli’s share memories of Atraktzia as part of their tradition of family vacations and weekends. I have never had the chance of experiencing Kalia’s Atraktzia myself, and yet I grew up knowing of a miraculous fantastic oasis in the middle of nowhere. Years after, In one of my trips down south I had my first encounter with Atraktzia. It was hot, dry and colorless, a pale reflection of its past glory. Te once amazing water park stood empty, abandon and waterless. After doing some research it came to my knowledge that in the year 2000 the water park was shutdown due to the politic tension in the area as well as financial and legal problems. Since then, for 13 years, it stands empty. The stories of others , on which i based my memories , of the place I have never visited , were far from the place I could have now see for myself. And yet, I still feel nostalgic in regards to the fall of the attractions from its glory; not owning even one true memory of Atraktzia haven’t prevented me from yearning its past. As I photographed the park it became smaller, paler and lifeless. In this body of work I do not try to recreate the park, or resurrect it, but document a place that so many people had strong feeling to, as children, and try and understand that glorious period that me myself had never got to experience.

Ha’asor 12/2

My family roots back to England, but I was born in Israel. I was a child on a fence; a daughter to a migrating family. The house within culturally stayed European but outside was the Israeli controversial culture. I always felt a misfit with my partial incomplete identity; torn apart between parents who have never blended in to the Middle Eastern culture I felt only half belonged too. Over the years I have heard of my parent’s memories and stories. I remember hearing of snow, youth and happiness. Stories of happier days. The stories held on to the memories of time and culture that I wasn’t a part of, and portraits of family members that always remained anonymous to me and their faces where no more distinct than any other person in generic photo album. These stories were supposed to be my heritage. As I grew up I’ve started to question photography’s function as my memory, as my family heritage. My photographic practice chains together straight and still life photography, found footage from my family history and imagery from family albums. Using photography I've conducted an examination of my history. Due to the migration of my family from England to Israel that history discontinued, and therefore I find it hard do consider it as mine. In order to regain my history I’ve appropriated images, along with ones that I have made myself, and edited them into a book titled “cache memory”. The statement that represents the book is the definition of its title – cache memory. The decision to name the book and present it through this definition is handed down as recognition of what is hidden in photographs, coded and read through context; that photographs can unfold memories but not necessarily the same ones that were originally embedded in them.

I’m researching a history that I don’t see as actually mine; Family memories that I am not part of. The images become objects that I use in order to create a new history and memory of my own; people and places as I would like to remember and understand them. I started not only looking for my identity in the old photos but also reflect my feelings from these photos on to the world around me.

Color Nights

I walked at night with my camera through my old childhood neighborhood. Although it wasn’t where my home was, it was where my grandparents lived. It is a small neighborhood with old-fashioned Israeli buildings in a desert city of Maal’e Adumim. I call it my childhood neighborhood because I spent many days playing and hiding between these buildings. I came back to the neighborhood as a young adult, looking to find all those memories, but they were long gone. I wasn’t able to remember much and everything felt different from this new perspective. It no longer felt like a large maze but instead it felt small and I could see all the path’s clearly. I only felt comfortable walking around and exploring the place at night, when it was free of people, silent and it was just the streets and I. Than I I was able to reconnect with this place by observing the stillness of the buildings following the light spots around the neighborhood and listening to the crickets. In the loneliness of the the night and it’s emptiness I felt as if I found my memories. There are not specific moments recreated here, but a feeling of home, of a place I understand even if I see it differently now than I did as a child. This place will always be where my Grandfather, Pop, was. He is this light I am looking for, he is my childhood neighborhood.

Anonymous Family

Family albums have become a standard for people to portrait their family and create a collective memory. We share a need to capture memories and special moments with the people we know. Things as a birthday cake, children taking a bath or a trip to the beach have become a portrait of the normal , typical family memory. Sometimes we don’t even remember the occasion but we relive it by looking at the picture and assuming we remember the memory. I am the third child in my family. Both my brother and sister were born and raised in London. I was born a year after my family moved from their home in London due to an anti-Semitic stone attack on my brothers Hebrew school. My parent’s memories and stories are of England. Over the years I have heard of my family in England. I remember hearing of London in the snow, youth and happiness. Stories of my family. People I never met, people that always remained anonymous and their faces are no more distinct than any other person in a photo album. As for today there are no new photos to fill the pages of my family album, As times have changed .There is no snow here in Jerusalem, the youth is well gone and happiness isn’t a part of the everyday life. I’ve browsed throw these old photos trying to look for a family but all I found was empty spaces. Stories of places I’ve never been to, people I never saw and a period that I haven’t lived in. Those photos were fascinating to me. I have stopped trying to look for my family in the people I don’t recognize or memories in the places I’ve never been to. But instead I started looking for thing that find a way to creep into the photos. Shadows, dents, scratches, and defects. The people have become unimportant. The stories were muted and all I had left was myself. I have started creating a story of my own, a family of my own a portrait of time, people and places as I would like to remember and understand them. This is my anonymous family.