Speaking Germany, 2008 (video still), video, 29:22 minutes, sound, courtesy of the artist
Sharone Lifschitz examines the narrative that shaped kibbutz life during her childhood, while revealing the points at which the line between individual identity and memory and the community's collective memory are blurred. This work was photographed over the course of several weeks in the kibbutz darkroom, where her mother teaches a photography class. It documents the developing of photographs from her family archive and from the archives of other kibbutz members - an activity that has a nostalgic resonance in the digital age. The moment in which the images appear within the developing fluid brings back memories of a shared past. These memories raise questions and reflections concerning the functioning of kibbutz society and of individual families on the kibbutz - a process by which the former ideals of Israeli-Jewish society are contrasted with contemporary reality.
"A young Jewish woman visiting Germany is interested in discussing any subject with the readers of this notice." Following the publication of this announcement, which appeared in several German newspapers in 2008, Lifschitz traveled throughout Germany to meet with the people who had responded to her message. Fragments of the conversations and the stories told in the course of these meetings later appeared on various billboards throughout Munich, as part of the publicity campaign for the inaugural exhibition of the city's Jewish museum. Lifschitz operates as a kind of ethnographer, who studies various communities from within. The physical journeys she undertakes include meetings, conversations, and meals with members of different communities. In this manner, she seems to create her own community, which is composed of fragments of texts and images documenting these encounters. At the same time, these fragments are woven together into a narrative that tells the story of an existing community - and of its charged past - from the artist's point of view.
Born in Israel, 1971; lives and works in London