DescriptionOne of the images that stuck in my memory was that of the trees overlooking Ponar, the killing site where most of the Jews of Vilnius were murdered. The trees bore silent testimony to the horrors that occurred there. Below I wanted something that suggested the bodies buried in the pits and decided to go with metaphor and use the letters of the Yiddish alphabet to represent bodies.Lying on their side they provide a figural suggestion and unfortunately an accurate representation in that the future of Yiddish may well have been buried in the pits with its speakers. Bands of upright letters spell out 'Gedenken' which means 'remember' in Yiddish. As I neared the bottom of the pit, I increased the size of these bands until the letters became apparent. The vantage point of the viewer is from the pits looking up, perhaps the last view of many of its victims.
Susan Weinberg, Minneapolis Member Since April 2010 Artist Statement As both a genealogist and an artist, much of my work has focused on family and cultural history. My Eastern Europe series is composed of paintings based on travels in LIthuania and the surrounding Baltic States. I frequently incorporate Yiddish into my paintings as it ties to my cultural roots. My Eastern Europe series deals with the Holocaust, the traces of the Jewish community that remain and the stories that I learned in my travels.
My work also includes a series based on China and earlier works of reflected images. While earlier work is largely figurative, my more recent work is moving into semi-abstract imagery.