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German artist and photographer, Thomas Henkel, has created a surreal photographic project that explores inherited trauma and the postmemory. Elena HelfrechtPrevious featured Here’s how to get in touch with us). Born in Bavaria in 1992, Helfrecht’s practice mainly revolves around phenomena of consciousness, combining individual experiences with collective history. In “Plexus,” Helfrecht embarks on a photographic journey through her family’s estate in Bavaria following the death of her grandmother. The black-and-white photographs of interiors and objects, as well as archives, create a play. Scenes that initially appear mundane, become increasingly unsettling.
“In the process of reconnecting the fragmentary history of my female lineage, the term ‘re-membering’ becomes literal. Immersing me into this story I fill in the gaps with dream, associations and imagined scene to create a fictional narrative that transcends national and personal boundaries. The objects and architecture of the house become parabolic proxies and open a gate between the past and the present.”
Helfrecht’s images symbolically allude to the unreal and imaginary creeping into recollections of personal and cultural histories. Helfrecht confronts a past that spans four generations and explores the reverberating and intersecting echoes of war, mental health and history. “Plexus” also features a short story by Canadian writer Camilla Grudova. Grudova’s piece, “The House Surgeon,” is about a disturbing growth that silently develops under the floorboards of a family home, drawing further upon the themes of inherited trauma presented through Helfrecht’s photographs.
View more images from the project published by VOID, below!