a priori is an art project which takes its title from Kant’s theory of “synthetische Urteile a priori”, judgments independent of experience and synthetic in nature. For the past two years I have been working with a group of people who have discovered a suppressed Jewish heritage.

 

For a priori I record and collect narratives of individuals, whose attempts to make sense of memories, stories, and facts eventually led to the disclosure of their Jewish ancestry. I inquire about consequences of this discovery and reasons for its concealment.

 

With this project I sift through the implications of my participants’ discoveries to analyze the meaning of fragmented narratives and their effect on one’s sense of self. The discovery of a family secret often conceived out of necessity and passed on from generation to generation, carries the potential for revision and melioration. The effects of such revelations on my participants’ lives vary greatly, and with a priori I document these disclosures and point to their ability to transform.

 

As a work in progress, a priori has evolved from solely a photographic documentation to incorporate a variety of media. This development renders my impressions as sculptural interpretations of revised biographies.