In the first chapter of my work in progress “the journey”, I travel back in time and to my Jewish ancestors’ country : Lithuania. Mixing family albums, present landscapes and portraits with excerpts from literature*, I revisit my family roots and history, and travel to an imaginary place, an introspective and biographic one.
In this first Lithuanian chapter, I go back to the original land, along with my mother and my son. We immerse ourselves in the nature, looking for traces, places, faces we could relate to today. If we think a landscape history is intimately linked to the history of the people who inhabited and crossed them, what can those forests, fields and lakes tell about the past? Which memory do they convey ?
With needled landscapes, erased and dotted silhouettes, mixed and torn portraits, I explore the relationship between the visible and the non visible, the absence and the presence, and evoke the disappearance and remembrance of a lost community, either forced to flee away or exterminated. Looking for a way to re-appropriate, re-shape and transmit a lost memory, and celebrate the absent ones.
* With excerpts from Georges Perec, Récits d'Ellis Island: Histoires d'errance et d'espoir, (INA/Éditions du Sorbier, 1980), and from Jonas Mekas, There is No Ithaca, Black Thistle Press, 1996, and from philosopher Gaston Bachelard.
Video layered installation from the VSW Residency in Rochester NY, 2019
Videos by Marilia Destot - Music by Vaida Striaupaité-Beinariené (letters from ancestors - 2011)