I Haven’t Seen You In So Long I’ve Forgotten What You Look Like
Silkscreen printed fabric, bagels and lox brunch, table, artists family heirloom tablecloth and dishes, fur coats, polystyrene.
“I haven’t seen you in so long I’ve forgotten what you look like” is the phrase my paternal grandmother, matriarch of the Steinberg family, would say when she wanted a visit. Family gatherings involving my immediate family, cousins, aunts and uncles and grandparents were centered around food, the rituals of Jewish life observed were secular humanist, progressive, with strong Socialist ideals as the main ideology. A pattern, based on the floor-to-ceiling wallpaper and curtains in my grandmother’s Kew Gardens Queens home, is carved into foam panels and silkscreened onto curtain fabric, referencing the plaster carved walls of the El Transito synagogye in Cordoba, Spain. The ritual objects and ceremonial art of the synagogue have been replaced with food and drink. Everything is bathed in pink light, evoking a dreamlike state, the act of remembering, performing ritual actions, gathering, seeking the high of spiritual transcendence, but in this case the synagogue is the memory, both mine, and the collective memory of the surviving generation of Steinberg cousins who also worshipped at this altar of salt cured fish.