White Tablecloth Map 

Art Performance/Installation

White cotton paper, treated photos from my Viennese family’s photo album from the beginning of the 20th century printed pigment on archive paper, acrylic, pencil, Japanese brushes, Porcelain tea set from the Austrian family, table

The Salon at Agripas Street, Agripas 12 Gallery, Jerusalem

curators: Rina Peled & Max Epstein

Echoes of Vienna

Just reading or listening to the word “Vienna” and a sweetness shines inside my body. It swirls with music of a waltz, with the smell of goulash, an apple strudel, sweet apricot dumplings and the truest raspberry juice. Coffee with rum and whipped cream and the German language that lulls me once more. Vienna is my past, a city that is a prefix for me. Vienna, Wien the city of my grandparents Opi Freddy, Omi Trude, my aunt Lucy, and my papa Heinz, Heinzi who became Enrique. The city is like of Land of Oz. An enchanted place, far, far away in a cultural Europe.

I come from the South; South America, Uruguay, a Guarani name for a country meaning “the river of painted birds”. A country without ancient forests with wild berries growing, strawberries, cherries, blueberries, raspberries, mulberries, blackberries. Neither royal palaces, nor princesses, nor princes… without great important museums or famous cultural geniuses that eventually changed the world. A humble, sunny, safe, human dimensions Montevideo…Ah! but part of my roots shoot far, to the other side of the Atlantic, to the country of Sissi, of the magical photo family albums, of stories, memories and of the fluffy warm feather duvets. I grew up in a cloud of German, a language I have never learned, but it was part of my childhood soundtrack, a surrounding murmur, a background music while in my head I was in my own world, daydreaming. I was always present in two worlds, the material and the one of my imagination. A perfect training ground for an artist, while stirring the teaspoon in my glass of tea with its silver holder, eating a Austrian pastry, or sourdough bread.

Vienna, a city of my ancestors, a land of movies, literature, art, theatre, music, and operettas. With a before, and then an after. Because in Vienna everything was lost, the Nazis came, they destroyed ... they murdered ... but my family escaped… in time ... they escaped arriving in Uruguay …they did not forget Vienna. The Vienna that was carried in their hearts, that of laughter and family. That of a cultured Jewish presence. The one of the Prater, of the bandstand concerts in the parks! The one of the theaters, the cafes, the wine gardens, the avenues, the universities, the elegance, the magazines, the books, the clip clop of horses and of children playing in the snow ... love stories, merriment, the sound of shuffling cards, and everything in a cadence of Viennese German which they say is sweeter and more cheerful than others ...

The world stopped in Vienna…continued in Montevideo, loaded with Austrian memories. Sad for a Paradise lost … a relief for being alive.

 

Alejandra Okret, 2020

Viena y las frutillas

Papa que recogia

Frutillas silvestres

en los bosques de Austria

me regalo

una Viena

de cuentos de hadas

de nieve

de cultura

de familia

grande

de memorias transportadas

en álbumes

de fotos de

gente que ya no esta

más

ya papa,

y Lucy

y Opi

y Omi

ya ellos tampoco están

más

pero

la Viena...

de sus cuentos

sigue conmigo.

Entre fresa

y fresa,

una cereza

y una

frambuesa

Alejandra Okret, 2020

Vienna & the Strawberries

Papa picking

wild strawberries

in the forests of Austria

gave me

a Vienna of fairies

with snow,

culture

and family laughter

Made of memories

transported

in photo albums

with people who were

no more

now

also dad

is not

more,

neither Lucy,

nor Opi

nor Omi

but the

Vienna…

of their stories

is…

between

each berry

and berry,

a strawberry,

a cherry

or a simple

raspberry

Alejandra Okret, 2020

אבא שקוטף

תותי בר

ביערות אוסטריה

נתן לי

את ווינה מהאגדות

של שלג,

של תרבות...

של צחוק

של משפחות גדולות

מסע זיכרונות

שהועברו

באלבומי תמונות

של אנשים שאינם

עוד

אבא,

ולוסי

ואופי

ואומי

גם הם כבר

לא ...

אמנם

הווינה של סיפוריהם

איתי,

כן...

בין תות

לתות,

דובדבן

או

פֶּטֶל פשוט

אלחנדרה אוקרט, 2020