The project consists of three parts - two books, vol. I + II and a performative audio-piece.
“Can anyone ever truly return to the land of one’s memory? Or is remembering the only form that such a return can be actualized?”
(Um, 2012: 845)
The word ‘history’ is absent in the Hebrew language, instead, the word ‘Zikaron’ זִכָּרוֹן is used, which means 'memory'. As rabbi Mendel Kalmenson beautifully articulates: “Without me, there is no memory. Memory is a part of me, and history, apart from me.”
In the winter of 2019, I received the 100-year old embroidered Sabbath Tablecloth, the only surviving memorabilia from the erased world of my ancestors, which marked the beginning of my in-depth research into the scattered history of my family. The project started with a longing to find a deeper understanding of my past and explore a heritage that was covered in dust. I merged myself through the layers of time, crossing one world to another, simultaneously. Trying to find colour in what seemed like complete absence - through slowly uncovering, unfolding, dusting, excavating, re-collecting and assembling the fragments of a lost home.
This project is a homage to my ancestors, as well as a search for identity and cultural heritage. The project has taken me to Israel to retrace scattered family members and to Ukraine to visit the lost villages of my ancestors. This project aims to challenge our relationship to the past and to acknowledge the multiplicity of stories in ourselves. All these stories make up who we are.
Lara Bongard (*1995, NL) studied Visual Arts at LUCA School of Arts, Ghent and graduated from her Master’s degree in September 2020. Her multi-disciplinary practise involves in-depth research around questions of self-identity and cultural heritage. Through transhistorical research, she merges and fuses ancient narratives and symbolisms to create new stories and images. Her work aims to challenge our relationship to the past and acknowledge the multiplicity of stories and histories that constitute our identity. Questioning who we are and where we belong. She uses colour in word and image to deal with delicate issues and break stigmas. Her practise explores storytelling through the mediums of writing, cooking, drawing, photography, as well as textile work and embroidery.
2019 - 2020 - MA Visual Arts, LUCA School of Arts, Ghent
2018 - 2019 - 3BA Mixed Media, LUCA School of Arts, Ghent
2015 - 2018 - B.A. Visual Arts, AKV St. Joost, Den Bosch
2014 - 2015 - First year of B.A. Allround Styling and Design, Academie Artemis, Amsterdam
2020 - Spreadmag. #02, Online Magazine Launch & Exhibition
2019 - How Soft Did You Expect This Fruit To Be?, Ghent (BE)
2019 - Synesthesia, Gouvernement, Ghent (BE)
2018 - MOMENTUM #03, DeSingel, Antwerp (BE)
2018 - Stemgeluid, Stokvishallen, Breda (NL)
2016 - Makeba, AKV St. Joost, Den Bosch (NL)
"There is beauty to be found in embracing the multiplicity of stories that constitute my identity. I am all these things. The essence of home is portable and fluid - always growing and adapting, fusing and mingling with different times, places and people, expressing itself in new forms and stories."