3G topics Not Only For Jews – The third generation after the Holocaust from the point of view of artistic practice
This PhD research is aimed to show the specific perspective and memory of the third generation (3G) after the Holocaust, the generation where I belong and which I believe to be one of a kind. In Eastern Europe, in Hungary, where I live and grew up, memory and historic self-recognition are coupled with struggle not only on the social stage, but within the family as well. The social experience of the 3G, self-recognition and identity therefore raise here different questions than in the United States, Israel or some Western European countries. In Hungary, many of the members of 3G were born into families, which by then had had a history of several decades of silencing, forgetting and tabooing. Even though several interviews and psychological studies have been published in the years following the Holocaust (see www.degob.hu), no familial or social dialogue has been generated in Hungary.
In recent years, there is an increasing number of research produced on the personal aspects of 3G, especially in Israel, dealing with social and behavioral issues, transgenerational traumata, and the central role of commemoration and remembrance in both private and collective memory (Bar-On 1995). In order to visualize the specific experience and the memory processes within 3G, I will focus on the trauma rooted in the memory of genocide, as well as on the memory work both on the personal (micro) and on the collective (macro) level, and personal survival techniques. I will be borrowing and re-working methodologies from other research, from a variety of academic disciplines. By borrowing methodologies, I step over the boundaries of academic research and open it up towards fiction and hypotheses. My research questions are linked to the original methodology of the borrowed ones, its era of development, and its original purposes, thereby including the context of origin and comparing it with contemporary artistic practice.
keywords: Holocaust , third generation, artistic practice, commemoration, remembrance, transgenerational traumata, trauma, memory, memory politics
Zsuzsi Flohr is a visual artist living and working in Budapest and Vienna. Her artistic practice includes videos and photos and text based works, too. Her works mostly debate the question of everyday reality, ontology, personality and identity. The represented text fragments show human presence through self-documentation.
Born into an East European jewish family in Budapest, Flohr has chosen to examine the contradictions and historical dislocations of her generation in Europe through the use of ‘psycho-portraits’ and ‘photo-diaries’ which confront the collective history with the personal and the individual.
Zsuzsi Flohr’s videos and photographs are text-based narrative works that center around the issues of the ‘third generation after the Holocaust’ in terms of consciousness and collective identity, with a focus on her native country, Hungary. Questions of belonging, self-knowledge, memory policy, memory culture and the returning generation are the central questions she brings forward from a personal, gender-sensitive perspective .