Artist Talk: Loli Kantor: Beyond The Forest: Jewish Presence in Eastern Europe – From Personal Biography to Subjective Documentary
Loli Kantor explores personal and cultural memory in her work about the Jewish communities of Eastern Europe, as portrayed in her book by the same title. As a daughter of Holocaust survivors she brings a unique perspective to this body of work.
Kantor will talk about her journey of nearly a decade, her personal story which led her to pursue this work and about her use of photographic processes to depict the multi layered content on Jewish lives and rituals, presence and absence in contemporary east central Europe and the emotional impact that this world unveiled to her.
“The backdrop of family history and its memories inform identity. Through photographs the artists of “Legacy. Migration. Memory.” share familial resettlement stories. Customs, culture and the individual journeys vary but at heart, the passage to the present is all rooted in legacy.”
The concept of personal, community and cultural memory are central to the photography of Loli Kantor. Born in Paris, France, and raised in Tel Aviv, Israel Kantor and emigrated to the United States in 1984. She is based in Fort Worth, Texas.
Kantors’ most recent work focuses on Jewish life and culture in east central Europe. As a daughter of Jewish Polish Holocaust survivors, she brings a deeply personal interest and a unique sensibility to this body of work.
Kantor’s work has won numerous awards, including Critical Mass top 50, PhotoNOLA Reviewers choice award and Lishui award of excellence for her solo exhibition in Lishui, China. Her photographs are in private and museum collections including the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; The Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas at Austin; Lishui Museum of Photography in China and Lviv National Museum in Ukraine, among others.
Kantor’s monograph Beyond The Forest: Jewish Presence in Eastern Europe, 2004-2012, was published by the University of Texas Press in 2014. The book has received acclaim in such publications as The New Yorker , American Statesman, and Texas Jewish Outlook and has been featured in interviews with the artist on Public Radio International’s The World and on National Public Radio, among other notable media.
This work is included currently in the exhibition From Generation to Generation, Inherited Memory and Contemporary Art, at the Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco.
Legacy.Migration.Memory. will travel from the Griffin in March to be exhibited the Yiddish Book Center in Amherst, Massachusetts.