Living Room 2009/10
Installation: 4 Prints (3D virtual model anaglyphs / 2D), sound / dimensions: 120300 cm (or smaller version: 80200 cm)
While looking at the images, visitors will hear a sound recording of Nomburg’s stories about his family’s home, adding texture and a sense of time to the installation. Recollections of the familiar objects and Nomburg’s anecdotes bring the rooms and their contents back to life.”
Like Zack’s film Mother Economy exhibited at The Jewish Museum in 2008, Living Room explores the intersection of personal memory with historical events. Both pieces were inspired by a trip in which the artist travelled to Slovakia to the house where her grandmother grew up. She recalls her “encounter with the actual house, and the sense of emptiness and absence [she] felt while trying to imagine what had happened in between its walls – reconstructing a reality from a borrowed memory.”
(Aviva Weintraub, curator of Maya Zack: Living Room at the Jewish Museum, NY 2011).
The project was made with the support of The Leo Baeck Institute in Jerusalem and Goethe-Institut in Jerusalem.
“In this installation, artist and filmmaker Maya Zack takes a Jewish family’s apartment in 1930s Berlin as inspiration for this room-sized work, using 3D technology and sound to explore the past and how it is remembered. With four large-scale, computer-generated 3D prints, Zack shows cross-sections of the living room, dining room, kitchen and other spaces, including furniture, appliances, tableware, wallpaper and light fixtures.
3D glasses enhance these oversized (4’ high x 10’ wide) images and give them immediacy and depth. While much attention has been paid to the major world events of the era, Zack’s piece serves as a reminder that ordinary lives were interrupted by the catastrophic events of the Holocaust.
The installation is based on the remembrances of Manfred Nomburg, a German-born Jew now living in Israel, who fled Berlin in 1938 as a boy. His vivid memories of the Berlin apartment where he lived with his parents and brother before the war recall life in an average home, comfortable but not opulent, with furniture and housewares typical of the time and place.