LAZARUS - DNA
Following on from my explorations in DNA analysis, I began to trace the movements of my ancestors around the world, I reached a point where it felt as if I was trying to resurrect the past. The ‘Lazarus’ epithet and title of this collective body of works, refers to that act of restoring something that has been lost; of being left with the melancholy feelings that painful discoveries inevitably bring up. Both my parents were refugees, escaping war and death. I feel strongly that history must be remembered, so that the mistakes of the past do not keep recurring. In this work I have tried to find a way to portray that narrative, moving beyond the Personal Maps, but maintaining the connection with psychogeography and cultural history.
The images depicted in these works trace the global movement of peoples as Nationalism swept through Turkey and Greece as well as in the rest of Europe after WWI. In various works within the ‘Lazarus’ series I have incorporated the events that shaped my family’s collective consciousness and which tells, in microcosm of the human struggle for survival and happiness.
People being shipped away from the war-torn coastal regions of Asia Minor and back the other way in an exchange of populations, the boats, broken sculpture and mixed funerary stones of Christian, Muslim and Jewish Greeks appear, as well as maps, and faces of remembered and lost ancestors. Globally the movement of peoples intensifies leading to mass migrations to the USA in the 1800s and to the New World after WWII. My family’s story reflects those events and pre-empties the new tragedies of the Arab Spring, the Syrian catastrophe and the move to the Political Right in recent times..
When we look at the past it is not always possible to escape the pain, and that is as it should be. We have to acknowledge loss before we can move on to happier times. The images, although very personal, as with all my other work, I hope go beyond my personal cosmography to speak of our shared humanity.