This series, produced for a solo exhibition at Mana Contemporary, in Jersey City, explores my identity as a first generation American--the child of Soviet Jewish immigrants. I attempt to better understand my family history by re-staging old family photographs, often taking on the roles of various relatives myself. Employing makeup, masks, prosthetics, and costumes to masquerade into myriad colorful characters, I reimagine my family archive of daguerreotypes and early paper prints, to Polaroids, negatives, I.D. photos, and studio portraits.
By inserting myself into a history I never experienced, I am forced to project my own experiences, musings, and ideologies onto my family history, offering us an interpretation of what Soviet life might have been like. The series is an investigation of how culture is constructed and passed down, the subjectivity of memory, and the role of photography in shaping family history and identity. Following a rich 180-year history of performing for the camera, I engage in an otherwise impossible dialogue across space and through time, between pixel and grain, from ancestor to descendant.
NEW YORK, NY