teresa novotny

While you‘re gone is from now on forever

Performative photography 2021 - ongoing

Someone has died, what remains.
Which ghosts continue to haunt us.
Sometimes death also means relief.
What is remembered.

Perhaps the texture of a carpet, into which one wanted to sink so often as a child.

In this work, I explore the transgenerational trauma that was passed down in my family and came to the surface intensely at the moment of my grandmother‘s death and the ensuing inheritance disputes.

After the death of the matriarch, her children don‘t hesitate to qui- ckly divide her possessions among themselves. The objects are mar- ked by post-its with the names names of their new owners. The last cold family formations between the siblings break smoothly with the death of the social dictate of their mother, my grandmother. The familiy‘s apartment building, where I still live with my son directly above her old apartment, is sold. Gradually, the rooms empty.

The wealth accumulated over the years finally reveals itself as a fami- lial manifestation of greed, stinginess, and emotional coldness.

All just protective mechanisms to overcome the war trauma experien- ced as a child by my grandmother. Over the years, the trauma has been dragged on and passed on unconsciously, silently. In reference to the stereotypical image of the white ghost, my body in this work not only embodies the inheritance and trauma of my grandmother but also my childhood memories of her and the spaces through which we all moved. And my longing for warmth and healing at that time.