This series offers a visual entry to an ongoing conversation about the relationship between Jewish people and their Promise Lands. Specifically, where the lands fall
short of their promises, and how that experience shapes the identities of those who’ve chosen life in the Diaspora.
While this philosophical conversation has existed since the founding of Israel, it takes on weight and shape in the lives of those who’ve left—those like my parents,
who met in Israel in the early 80’s. Each had left their homelands (Morocco and Germany, respectively) in search of a better life, but by 1985, the year I was born,
they realized they wouldn’t find it in Israel. So they left for another Promise Land: Los Angeles, CA, where my brother and I grew up watching them reach for dreams
that were always just beyond their grasp. The photos in this series have been taken over six years on visits home from Paris, where I now live with my husband. The
distance has given me the ability to see my family in ways I took for granted as a child: their cultural concessions and adaptations; the limitations of their learning; and the
tenacity of their dreams.
In this series, I play with shifting intimacies, with proximity and geography. With the process of translating identity and culture across language, nation and age.
Sometimes the viewer is in the room, a watcher on the wall or among the furniture; other times, I’m the focus of the family’s gaze, the audience they’re performing for.
My photos are intended to defamiliarize in the literal sense of the word; an exercise in reframing and distancing the viewer from the obscuring intimacy of family, of home.
rom these vantage points, my parents’ possessions, landscapes and other quotidian set dressings emerge as characters, rich with their own conflicts, triumphs and histories.
From these modest distances, even the fractures in their English convey a continuity. Collectively, these photos form a kind of ethnography of Jewish identity, forever
growing and evolving.