Sunday, November 11, 2007

it's all relative, indeed

Here is Vardi Kahana's 1992 photograph of her aunts, all Holocaust survivors.

Nextbook reports on a new exhibit of Kahana's photographs of her family: "As an art student in Israel in the late 1970s, Vardi Kahana started taking pictures of her mother, a refugee who had been interned at Auschwitz. Two of her brothers and her parents died there. The Holocaust also claimed the lives of Kahana's paternal grandparents and three of her father’s siblings. The survivors from these two families dispersed to Israel, the United States, and other parts of Europe, where they begat new generations whose members hold a range of political and religious beliefs."

Now a portrait photographer, Kahana has traveled the world documenting this clan. The resulting exhibition, "One Family," is on view at the Andrea Meislin Gallery in New York City through December 21.

Kahana writes: "The Holocaust was not present in my life or my home. But when I grew up and began writing books, and these books were translated into different languages, I started traveling to different places as a result. And each time I visit Germany I am asked once again how it feels to look at my book in the German language. 'It feels fine,' I answer. 'It is my way of announcing to you that we are alive.'”