Painting from the Holocaust's barbaric periphery : a personal journey : an exegesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Fine Arts Massey University, Wellington, New Zealand
This exegesis examines my personal response to the Holocaust through the medium of expressionist painting. I identify myself as the daughter of a Holocaust survivor, and an immigrant to New Zealand. I discuss the concepts of “post-memory”, “vicarious past” and “intergenerational trauma” and question the moral right to make art out of other people's suffering. I discuss the tensions inherent in living and working in New Zealand, a country at a far geographical and cultural remove from the Holocaust, and reflect on how this affects my work in terms of memory, imagination, and style. I demonstrate the way Jewish artists Chaim Soutine, Marc Chagall, Charlotte Solomon, Abraham Rattner, and Hyman Bloom influenced my search for a personal painting language. I link my practice to other Jewish immigrant artists who fled Europe during the Nazi regime, and site myself in what Sidra DeKovan Ezrahi calls the “barbaric periphery” of the Shoah (Ezrahi qtd. in Katz-Freidman 119).