Artists' Directory

Jana Zimmer

Artist Statement

I explore issues in my art making related to exile, memory, and responsibility. I began in 1995 by making monotypes incorporating fragments of family documents, altered photographs and drawings created by my sister in the Terezin Ghetto, as a way of making a mark on her behalf, and of honoring my parents’ experience as Holocaust survivors. The resulting “Terezin Series” was shown in Prague and at the Terezin Ghetto Museum in 2007.

In the digital series, “Impasse” (2010), I investigate the ways in which the mutual rejection of memory/narrative has operated to prevent meaningful dialogue between the Israeli and Palestinian peoples. I was inspired by a recent journey to Portugal and Morocco to study Sephardic history, and the subsequent series “Sepharad” (2011) references the Inquisition and World War II experience in Iberia and Morocco.

Through my most recent work, I continue to explore the multiple layers of Exile/Diaspora/Galut, experienced through the lens of my history as the daughter of survivors, refugees, and immigrants. Making art helps me to understand my own life narrative, to accept, if not embrace, my perpetual state of discomfort and ambivalence, and to make connections with others who may see their own struggles reflected in my work.

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