Carol Neiger

monoprint 1/1
32 x 40 in.

I am interested in memory and place. A visit to Portugal inspired me to think about the history of the Jewish diaspora. I discovered that European Jews have been exiled from 109 locations since the year 250 CE and I wondered about how Jews, relate to “place” and “home” given their tumultuous history. European Jews have migrated extensively. They have been attacked, exiled, and forced to choose between death and conversion. Homes and buildings of worship have been destroyed. Jewish people have moved away from hostile situations, sometimes voluntarily with optimism-seeking a better place – but very often by force.

This monoprint is a part of a series of prints and paintings that explore relationship to place and home and seek the answer to the question of how Judaism survived despite this history. The work employs an iconographic language comprised of symbols of community—land, home, streets—arranged as a pattern within the context of a geographic place. Layers evoke history, and fractured space suggests the paths of movement and exile from one place to another. I am interested in the wisdom passed down through stories, study and the idea of memory that exists in us as a people. This is the wisdom of wandering. Stories of place and how wisdom is built through community, disruption and ultimately – cohesion.