Judit Hersko

(Hungary, 1959)

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“Hersko’s installation, from the “Black Forest” series, also addresses a genocidal chapter of history in an oblique manner. She has mounted three pairs of glass panels several inches away from one wall. The shape of the panels, as described in another section of the installation, mimics that of a wide ribbon bow commonly worn by girls in black Forest villages. Hersko has printed each glass panel with an image in transparent ink, so that it is difficult to read on the glass surface, but the shadow cast behind it on the wall is crisp and distinct.

Reading shadows is, in itself, a highly suggestive act, and Hersko, who lives in San Diego, has made the content of these panels as subtly absorbing as their form. The first panel shows a country girl tending geese in the forest. With each subsequent panel, the child becomes outnumbered by the geese and, ultimately, obscured by a typewritten list of names. The list, in German, documents the fates of numerous Jewish woman of Bonn, fates which range from emigration to deportation and death.

By visually overlapping the quaint image of German country life with the tragic truth of the Holocaust, Hersko has encapsulated some of the most compelling aspects of history-its relativity, simultaneity and seeming contradiction. Her installation, though diluted a bit by related works in glass and lead, leaves a strong impression- as a strong on the eye as in the gut.”

Leah Ollman, LA Times, Sept. 21, 1992

Venue: Mission Brewery Plaza, San Diego