My Name is Sara
Four Corners Gallery, London
27 August – 18 September 2021
My name is Sara draws upon themes of family, post-memory and the Holocaust. Davidmann discovered a family album of photographs and handwritten notes in German (never before translated), that tell a story her father was never able to tell – of the German Jewish side of her family.
Davidmann’s father, Manfred, and his sister Susi survived the Holocaust by escaping from Berlin on the Kindertransport, arriving in Britain in 1939. The photo-album belonged to Davidmann’s aunt Susi. Early photographs show a family life of seaside holidays, weddings and Berlin outings – a family Davidmann had not known existed.
Realising that many of these people did not reappear in photographs taken after World War II she searched for traces of their lives. She uncovered over 130 pages of Nazi and official documents. These revealed that family members were deported to, and murdered, in concentration camps at Auschwitz and Theresienstadt. Others survived by escaping to Shanghai and France, and by living hidden in Berlin with false documents.
At the same time – parallel to making these discoveries, Davidmann used photography and video to make artworks using the material she was uncovering. Recognisable objects – hair, family photographs and Nazi documents appear in the artworks – only to be disrupted by elements of fire and erasure.
This exhibition coincides with Davidmann’s forthcoming book Mischling I←