Vida Yovanovich: Photography as Memory
by José María Espinasa

One of the many atrocities humanity has done to itself are the concentration camps of the Second World War. Treblinka, Mauthausen, Auschwitz, Argelès-sur-Mer are names we wish we could erase from our memory but which we must remember over and over again in order to avoid making the same mistakes, never again to fall back into that black pit that stripped us of our human condition—that which has no name and for which we must find a new one.

Vida Yovanovich uses her camera to become part of a reflective memory, the thinking about violence and the remembrance that art reformulates: memory is thus, an exercise not in mimesis but in transformation. Her visit to Mauthausen, known as the Spanish camp, is evidence of her ability to think with the lens, of how photography opens the possibility for taking possession of the horror, of the strain of violence in the air and over objects, over landscapes and people.

World War II began in Spain, and the camps that held exiled Spaniards are part of the Holocaust. The author’s title for the exhibition, No-name, is essentially a lack of title, because words do not suffice to name what happened. And yet we have to remember. A first step should be to see and not to accept blindness—like not accepting muteness as in, Scream in Silence. Learning to rename that which has no name, even in the very absence of a name.

Technical sheet: Still picture / Video, 2010-2014.  
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