This project is a core artwork in Maja Gratzfeld’s repertoire. Starting in 2015 and evoked by the refugee situation in Germany, it was originally developed for the Jewish Museum Berlin and its vending machine project. It is based, like most of her work, on her interest in the concept of diaspora, navigating personal and national identities, and with a feminist perspective. The condition of the diaspora is inherently associated with the act of movement and an urge to narrate a story, and indeed, Gratzfeld tells a complex story, which unfolds stories of people, families, nations and countries. Though she uses the Jewish diaspora as a starting point, she still refers to a global problem. Nationalism, war, racism, hunger, poverty, displacement through slavery and voluntary migration are just a few reasons for such dispersions.
Each piece of the project is a multi-layered photograph, which emerged through places she lived at in, or her family’s history. Among the places shown in the photos are Ukraine, Romania, Austria, Philippines, Israel, and Germany. In total, the artwork consists of a picture divided into 500 puzzle pieces. Once completely sold, these pieces will be scattered around the globe. Each piece will find a new companionship that brings it from Berlin to a different place.
Maja Gratzfeld (1982), is a German artist, graduated from Fine Art Academy in Dresden Germany (2008) with interdisciplinary and experimental Painting diploma, as well as an post graduate degree. She also has studied at the Bezalel academy of art and design in Jerusalem. She is exhibiting in Germany and abroad and is the Scholar from the DAAD at Ecole superieure des beaux arts de Nimes, France recipient (2011). She is currently living and working between Berlin and Israel.