In the multimedia installation, Mother's History - a Library of Language, Sara Blokland explores her mother's Amsterdam-Jewish family history.
Blokland interviews her mother about her (Jewish) identity, idealism and memories of her post-war childhood. She brings this into dialogue with the pre-war philosophical ideas of Gerrit Mannoury, her mother's grandfather. In his study into the Significa, Mannoury examined how language and image impact the other. This gave rise to an artistic investigation of (Jewish) identity and (the impossibility of) visualizing trauma.
This work is part four of the Reproduction of Family series, in which Blokland examines her Surinamese-Dutch roots. Where earlier parts emphasized postcolonial history and visual representation, Mother's History centers around the memory of pre-war ideals and a postwar youth, as well as the relationship between the photographic image and language.