The Face of America
Ali Shrago-Spechler is an interdisciplinary artist and educator from Hollywood, Florida. Her work explores the malleability of history, imagined community and the landscape of memory. She makes paintings, sculptural objects, installations and interactive events to create a familiar and strange space for her audience. Her hybrid actions employ a reflective nostalgia; exploring the comedy and violence of Jewish histories and cultures while encouraging viewers to question their own narratives, self-imposed alienation, and the source and e ect of memory. Ali is the recipient of an Artist Fulbright Research grant to Karlsruhe, Germany (2020-21) and the Naomi Anolic Emerging Artist Award (2017) and currently in residence with ProjectArt in Crown Heights Library. She lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.
“In my work Eine Friedliche Industrie I am researching Karlsruhe’s Landscapes of Memory and Erinnerungskultur (“Remembrance Culture”) using the political and theatrical Thingspiele movement (1933-39) and its former venues as the framework for my investigation. This research will culminate in a sitespecific performance series and installation, Reclaiming Ritual, produced in collaboration with German archivists, artists and academics. Carried out alone and with large groups of participants, this investigative performance series will build a platform for partnership, conversation and narrative by merging German and Jewish cultural tropes and rituals, and reclaiming the Thingspiele (the movement) and Thingplaetz (the physical locations) as spaces for exchange and understanding- hope and empowerment.”
“Documentation (including video, photography, drawings, and handmade souvenirs) of the performance series will be displayed within the 1930s Period Room installation Eine Friedliche Industrie. This installation is currently in development and will survey the commodification and transformation of cultural objects and places in Karlsruhe; specifically in relation to the modes of remembrance found within American and JewishAmerican cultures and histories. The home and objects within it have been researched and displayed through the imagined lens of the family’s matriarchIrene Rosenberg- a feminist, chemist and first female to receive her PhD from KIT.”