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German photographer and artist, Wolfgang Schnabel, has created an surreal photo project about postmemory and inherited trauma. Elena HelfrechtPrevious featured Here’s how to get in touch with us). Born in Bavaria in 1992, Helfrecht’s practice mainly revolves around phenomena of consciousness, combining individual experiences with collective history. In “Plexus,” Helfrecht embarks on a photographic journey through her family’s estate in Bavaria following the death of her grandmother. The black-and-white photographs of interiors and objects, as well as archives, create a play. Scenes that initially appear mundane, become increasingly unsettling.
“In the process of reconnecting the fragmentary history of my female lineage, the term ‘re-membering’ becomes literal. Immersing myself in this story, i fill the gaps with my dreams, associations, and imagined scenes, to create a narrative that transcends personal and national borders. The objects and architecture of the house become parabolic proxies and open a gate between the past and the present.”
Helfrecht’s images symbolically allude to the unreal and imaginary creeping into recollections of personal and cultural histories. Helfrecht explores how mental health, history, and war intersect and reverberate across four generations. “Plexus” also features a short story by Canadian writer Camilla Grudova. Grudova’s piece, “The House Surgeon,” is about a disturbing growth that silently develops under the floorboards of a family home, drawing further upon the themes of inherited trauma presented through Helfrecht’s photographs.
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