Angelika Rinnhofer's "a priori" Project

This German-born artist has been working with people who have, at some point, discovered their Jewish heritage. A priori, titled after Kant’s notion of valid knowledge independent of experience, is an art project focusing on the contemporary generations of Europeans and Americans who discover late in life this suppressed part of their heritage.
In Beacon NY her community sukkah incorporated a wall installation consisting of large sheets of vellum, on which are written stories of discovery. 

Each cut-out rectangle symbolizes an interview conducted with participants in her project “a priori”. she records and collects narratives of people, whose curiosity and attempts to make sense of memories, stories, and facts eventually led to the disclosure of their Jewish ancestry. She inquires about consequences of this discovery and reasons for its concealment.
With “a priori” she sifts through 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” she reveals these disclosures and their ability to transform. 

Rinnhofer's video about the performative aspect of "a priori" can be viewed here.
It made it into a performance/video festival in Venice and will be shown there in December 2014.

The wall installation was on view at the Jewish Community Center in Dresden, Germany, together with photographs and audio files of the recorded interviews. She takes large-format black-and-white photographs of her participants and of objects significant to their discovery, and audio-record and videotape our conversations. She intends to present the project as a book of photographs, as well as additional exhibits.

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