Her Sheitel* 2019
one channel video
duration: 3:52 minutes
*wig in Yiddish
Monochrome photos with hair embroidered in them are seen under a bright light.
These four photos document the story of how my grandmother survived the Holocaust. Her immediate family immigrated from Hungary to Italy for her fathers job, serving the Merano Jewish community. They then fled to London and then sheltered from the bombing in Wales. I copied the information she wrote on the back of the photos and embroidered it with my own hair. The back side of the embroidery is seen on front side of the picture. Depending on the angle I held the picture, either the photo is seen clearly, or my hair.
I never saw my grandmother’s hair, therefore did not see her gradual shift to white. She covered her own hair with a wig as part of observing the Jewish law for married women. I also cannot fully understand her coming of age experiences. Within the time frame of the photos in the video, her extended family within the Jewish Hungarian community were gassed in Auschwitz.