EACH WINTER I can’t help but imagine bitter freezing cold, little or no food, absolute loneliness and unanswered prayers for modest humane conditions. Pouring through images of the Holocaust for more than fifty years only creates darker visions that seem to hover permanently in the corners of my mind. I recently came across Rishi Sankar’s Ah Trini Travelogue with haunting pictures of winter at Auschwitz-Birkenau. A picture of stiff uniforms sans bodies pushed me to search for an abandoned work never completed.
The morbid parade of marching uniforms was originally designed as a memorial display. I searched almost endlessly for a marionette-like figure I collaged together for an unresolved poster left in a folder more than five years ago. I plucked out one imaginary cousin from the photograph and placed a warm pair of boots on a bodiless uniform. Those boots became a tangible object freeing me to move on and remember. The Hebrew translation into English tell us, Six million Jewish men, women and children were murdered. Of course we’ve heard this before but we continue to bare witness and ask why.