Chloe Dichter Photography

detail of a blistered photo of a persons face in bluish white tones, like a cyanotype.
Mon May 24, 2021 through Mon May 24, 2021

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Artist Interview

A recording of the interview will be posted here in the coming weeks.

Artist Statement

The choice to use archived family imagery translated through the cyanotype process acts as a bridge between religion, history and memory, concurrently emphasizing the significance of the color blue within Judaism. Reconstructing my family tree through cyanotypes on both eggshells and matzo crackers draws reference to consumption, fragility, and mourning— eggs are eaten while sitting shiva and serve as a reminder of the circle of life, and I make the connection between the delicacy of the matzo with my family’s fractured framework. This installation brings the viewer from genesis to disintegration, egg to ash. The pieces left behind to be salvaged and put together sheds light on the realities of lost cultural roots, erasure, and anti-Semitism.

My efforts are frantic to conserve both the integrity of the crackers and circumvent the ephemeral past, an overwhelming urgency to save something that simply can’t be saved. The inevitability of decay demonstrates the necessity to preserve and confront a history that was once almost eradicated. By dedicating myself to the research of my family’s life through the investigation and archive of original photographs, this work contemplates the precarious ownership of my history as a secular, patrilineally Jewish individual. This is an ongoing and intensely personal endeavor as I search for ancestral connection, and it is also a humbling dialogue with the resilience of the Jewish diasporic consciousness. It has become my sole duty to preserve the complicated narratives of my family as I am the last to carry its original name.

“My efforts are frantic to conserve both the integrity of the crackers and circumvent the ephemeral past, an overwhelming urgency to save something that simply can’t be saved.”

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