This project was about telling a story through objects while thinking about ‘Fandom’.
Ever since visiting the city Reliquary Museum I had in my mind an object belonging to my grandmother (my Dad’s mom) Zoshia. It is a gold lighter with a mother of pearl check pattern inlay. It has a musical mechanism inside and I have a distinct memory of myself, as a child, holding it to my ear and it being so calming and so intriguing.
Zoshia Emigrated to Israel in the 50’s from Poland and with my grandfather build a knitwear company. I have always attribute my love of textiles and fashion to them. Zoshia was a very traditionally feminine woman, my memories of her are; her soft hands with long red nails, a well groomed short blond hair do, the twinkle of crystals she brought with her from Poland and the smell of the best chicken soup you will ever taste.
As a child my grandmothers house was a magical play ground for girls. My sister and I were allowed to touch, try, play, spray and eat anything we liked. For a woman who survived WW2 and came to Israel with very little, allowing this was not trivial and we loved her for it.
I decided to tell her story but I didn’t want it to be a memorial (she died when I was 16). I though I would let her objects tell her story. Her prized possessions, which she loved, were divided between us when she died. We each chose what we wanted and we live with her things around us in use everyday. To tell her story in a current way and in reaction to the Fandom topic I decided to use Instagram as a platform.
I wanted to see if other people would find her story interesting if I delivered it in a contemporary way. I searched her things in three households on two sides of the Atlantic, Photographed and edited the photos in a visual language I thought she would like if she was an instagram user today.
I started uploading the objects and along the way taking creative liberty with some of them in the sense that not all the images are authentic. part of them are replicated but super important to her story, like the cigarets or the perfume. I used relevant tags to attract the right kind of communities. I set a goal of 50 followers in a week (6 of them are family). I also used my instagram to create some curiosity. As of writing these words Zosha P has 47 followers, pretty close to my goal. I resisted the tempting offers I received to buy followers although that could have been an instant game changer.
Ultimately it has been an interesting experience but even more so it has been a pleasure talking with my parents and my sister about my grandmother through the little memories we each have regarding these object. My dad even said that he never thought about it this way but that she is actually, literally alive in these objects.When my daughter was born we named her Sophia unaware that it was the same name, in hindsight I am glad and she is already excited to know that the lighter will some day be hers.