Kavana - PhMuseum

Kavana

Hannah Altman

2019 - Ongoing

Jewish thought suggests that the memory of an action is as primary as the action itself. This is to say that when my hand is wounded, I remember other hands. I trace ache back to other aches - when my mother grabbed my wrist too hard pulling me across the intersection, when my great-grandmother’s fingers went numb on the ship headed towards Cuba fleeing the Nazis, when Miriam’s palms enduringly poured water for the Hebrews throughout their desert journey - this is how the Jew is able to fathom an ache. Because no physical space is a constant for the Jewish diaspora, time and the rituals that steep into it are centered as a mode of carrying on. The bloodline of a folktale, a tradition, a song, pulses through interpretation and enactment. Treating photographs in Kavana as such, I explore notions of Jewish memory, narrative heirlooms, and interpretive image making; the works are positioning themselves in the past as memories, in the present as stories being told, and in the future as rituals to interpret and repeat. To encounter an image in this way is not only to ask what it feels like, but to ask: what does it remember like?

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  • Threshold

  • Pressed Into Flesh

  • Keeping Time

  • Tzitzit (Threads)

  • Washing the Dead (Funeral for a Beetle)

  • An Inherited Shadow

  • Assemble (II)

  • Dead Sea Haze

  • Salt Wound

  • Lulav

  • By the Window

  • Saltwater

  • Tallit

  • Woman of Valor

  • Sunset in Jerusalem

  • Sunrise in New Jersey

  • Winter Solstice


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