In the year 5743 I set out to sojourn in the land of Israel, my mission unformed, and my return unclear. I arrived at night with my clothing and cameras, commanding a taxi to the Tel Aviv home of my grandmother's niece, aunt Devorah, mother of Miriam, Shlomo, and Arieh.
My grandmother Ida, grew up in Jerusalem, where she met and married my grandfather Sidney Shapiro, they had one child in Jerusalem, my uncle Solomon. My grandfather sailed to New York, and was eventually joined by his wife and son. My grandparents made their home at 214 East Broadway, and had four more children, Julius, Paula, Eva and Esther. Eva is my mother.
My father's parents came to New York separately, met and married on the lower east side. Their history in Europe vanished in pogroms and incinerated in the Holocaust. My grandfather took the name Jack Fox at his point of disembarkation married Minnie some years later and had three children, Rose, Ruth and Kenneth my father.
My grandmother Ida Shapiro told stories of her childhood in Jerusalem, the one I carried with me on the airplane was of her first day of work as an apprentice to a seamstress. She was so proud of her wages paid in bread, she ran through the streets home to her mother holding the loaves in her arms proud to contribute to the family table.
In the year 5743, I walked through the alleys of the Jewish quarter of the Old City, a little camera in my hand searching for a vision, seeking the mystery of our history. She was running home clutching the loaves of bread, I raised my hand above my head, in a flash she was frozen then gone, through a door or through a wall or through time and back again.
Photography captures time in light, quantitatively our measure is a fraction of a second in a continuum from ignition to extinction, but qualitatively we step back from art and seek meaning in the interpretation of collective memory. The images in this body of work were created a quarter of a century ago by a younger man searching for the meaning of his life in the land of greatest meaning.
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Words and images within this site © Richard Alan Fox