Liliane Lijn’s film, Look A Doll! My Mother’s Story (1994-99) will be screened in conjunction with the exhibition Liliane Lijn: Early Events: Five Narrative Sculptures, curated by Gabriella Daris and running from 2 August - 24 September 2017 at Summerhall, and in response to Edinburgh Festival’s theme “to heal the wounds of war.” The screening aims at extending the dialogue between generations and especially between mother and daughter, as an enactment of oral tradition and memory.
By exploring her mother’s childhood in Russia and Poland, Lijn evokes in intimate and moving detail the history of a Jewish woman who lived through the panic years preceding the 2nd World War and the excruciating reality of family life for the survivors of the Holocaust. Using interviews, photomontage and archive film clips, Look A Doll! My Mother’s Story is a film essentially about forced exodus, the restlessness of the rootless, those who have lost everything, even and most painfully their past.
Following a dream, in which she saw her mother fall from their collapsing home, Lijn had started to interview her on tape in 1994. ‘I have lost everything,’ she thought either during or just after the dream, ‘even my name’ and she renamed herself Sylvana Bismark. This, Lijn then decided, was to be the title of her autobiography. When she began to write, she realised she knew very little about her origins or her parents. From this belated interest came the limited edition, hand-bound and self-published, Her Mother’s Voice (1996-98), and having completed that artist’s book, Lijn wanted to see what would happen if she were to film her mother and ask her to tell the same story…
Free, booking essential
The film screening will be followed by a Panel Discussion and Q&A.
Liliane Lijn will be in coversation with Monica Bohm-Duchen, moderated by Gabriella Daris, from 3:30-4:30pm.
Venue: Anatomy Lecture Theatre, Summerhall