TRACES

Not so long ago I read this sentence in a book: “Burnt bodies leave no traces.”

The sentence shocked me in a way I had to follow through, as if unknown memories called for attention.
I come from an unusually mixed family background: Jewish Italian French and Spanish on my father side, Turkish Armenian, Dutch and German, on my mother’s side. Not so common, my last name is however also found within the Native American Lakota tribe. Persecuted and persecutors. I have battled my life through with the sense of belonging and never managed to really settle down.
My mother and hers gave their body to science. Of my father, grandfathers, aunts, paternal grandmother, I have no traces of their remains, no objects they lived with. The one archives card box my mother left contains mostly numerous old negatives of places and people I don’t know anything about, two family trees, and my father’s autobiography, which hardly mentions my brother’s and my existence. The question of Traces left behind is as personal as it is also today central to our civilization’s evolution.
Fire erases first color, then shape. This body of work implies exploring the consequences/traces of fire in nature, and in urban space; places and symbols of disappearance by fire, the extinction of species, including ours and the common objects we use; smoke and dust, transformation of matter and memory, end of the tools to record it all…
Why is the trace so fundamental to us? Is the truth within black and emptiness in white?

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