Media: oil on linen and canvas.
pain/T (2000-2015). Landscape is cover-up. My paintings aim to uncover what is hidden behind and beneath.
The paintings in this series evoke memories of places where I have lived. The pain/T series began with the recollection of landscapes in Germany, the country I lived in from 1994 to 1999. My last year was spent in a monastery, recovering from a brutal attack by a group of neo-Nazis. I lost most of my memory after the attack, and part of my therapy consisted in painting landscapes in order to reverse my memory loss. The landscape paintings began to symbolize locations where I had lived before the assault. They represented topographical memories by layering and interlacing a multitude of color strips, a painterly language I invented to deconstruct the natural and architectural landscape into film reels of paint that told a story I could no longer remember. According to witnesses’ accounts, 11:00am was the approximate time of my attack. Using this information, the colors created a narrative that took place at 11:00am on any given day and reflected a particular mood in the landscape at that specific moment in time. I created the narrative by correlating each color to a letter of the Latin alphabet, using a set of laws that constructed a narrative text out of each painting and allowed me to express my thoughts around the events of my attack and recovery.
The construction of the paintings and the construction of the narrative parallel each other and recreate the scarring that each experience leaves behind, thereby opening up the space and landscape of memory that lies buried underneath the landscape in sight. To paraphrase Barnett Newman, an artist paints landscapes so that she will have something to look at, but also, at times, so that she will have something to read.