si je meurs / if I die
Throughout my career, I have employed photography to investigate issues of identity, memory and inter-subjectivity. I have created a dialogue between the past and the present and between personal memory and collective history, sparking new questions about identity, cultural memory and place.
I grew up in El Salvador during a time of strife, within a Salvadoran/Palestinian Christian and Polish/French Jewish family. Through my work, I’ve explored my family’s history and it’s various exiles and diasporas, and have re-constructed a world inhabited by trauma and loss.
An extended portrait, si je meurs / if I die continues to explore a subjective, diasporic space that balances absence and presence. I pay homage to the relationship with my mother, Janine Janowski, construct my own sense of identity and allude to the legacy that she left behind.
The photos evolved naturally as we confronted the most human of destinies:
–As if I could ever get used to it
–As if the picture would somehow wish it away…
With these photographs, I share my intimate perspective to the historically-significant, public narrative of Janine’s life as a cultural promoter and founder of the renowned galería el laberinto in El Salvador during the civil war and its aftermath, now reactivated through laberinto projects, my socially engaged, arts, education and cultural legacy platform, also inspired by her.
si je meurs / if I die, 2015-16
Janine, Homage (José Nicolás), 2013.01.16, El Congo
archival pigment print, 2015
Image: 30 x 20 inches | Frame: 31 x 21 inches