A DNA test can be routine pleasantries or ceremonial engagements

Growing up, we had a family joke about the fairly common experience of opening up a cupboard and finding mom’s overflow stash of things like Kleenex, beans or toothpaste that no longer fit in the kitchen or bathroom. We’d darkly refer to it as her Holocaust syndrome, implying that her need to stockpile, to be prepared, was inherited from her mother, a hidden child survivor.

The following body of work is situated at the intersection of coming across 10 cans of crushed tomatoes in the bathroom while looking for toilet paper and the impulse to hold close and care deeply for items and people that have been historically taken away. Using found objects and creating work that uses or depicts an accumulation of materials, I reflect on a particularly Jewish collecting impulse that inspires a culturally specific method of storytelling. Each work is informed by the organized chaos of collections and the aesthetics of tangential narratives, restlessness and layering in order to express my own relationship with various facets of cultural Judaism.

This is the first part in Lauren Prousky’s A DNA test can be routine pleasantries or ceremonial engagements series, for part two click here, and for part three, here.

Header image design by Orly Zebak. Artwork A hearty spread by Lauren Prousky. 

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