JENNY YURSHANSKY                                                                  






In 2016, I took my mother back to her former home in Moldova, a place she does not talk about due to the many painful associations that exist for her. Our family was forced to flee as refugees from the Soviet Union. During our trip, we had an unplanned visit to the cemetery where her grandfather is buried. Together we saw for the first time his headstone, a 12-foot limestone carving of a limbless tree, memorializing nine members of my family murdered during and after WWII. Unbeknownst to anyone, the groundskeeper had painted the headstone bright green in order to camouflage it from vandals. Because of the overgrown and abandoned state of the cemetery, the headstone feels as if it is being subsumed back into the terrain that it is a replica of. I would have never known about this cemetery, the monument, or the stories of these family members without being in a situation where my mother and I were prompted into a series of unplanned conversations that led us to this moment of discovery.

The images in the slide projectors are of this headstone but taken from two separate trips I made with my mother, having returned to Moldova a second time to better understand where we come from, and from where we were forced to flee. The images of the headstone dissolve, one over another, with a flash of my veiling the monument with a muslin shroud. This action of covering is done as an act of honor, protection, and remembrance. The projection of the images is disrupted by a flapping, sheer curtain. The images therefore only resolve occasionally, frustrating what can be seen, thereby highlighting the difficulty of seeing through one's own memory and trauma.  This work is a glimpse through a window to a past that does not easily reveal itself.


A Legacy of Loss (Encounter)




Slide projectors, dissolve unit, slides, steel projector stand, glass, polyester voile, wood, fan


88 x 25 x 58 inches

Works            CV             Current            About