Mixed media, various dimensions: video, sculpture, photography, interactive electronics
Inspired by the experiences of two Jewish women who worked for British military intelligence during World War II, Thin Air is the result of my investigation of the women’s presence in historical documents and popular culture, and is comprised of sculpture, interactive sound and video, and photography.
Hungarian-born Hannah Senesh (1921-1944) was recruited and trained in Palestine for a secret mission into Occupied Europe. She was arrested as soon as she entered Hungary and tortured for several months before being found guilty of treason. She was executed at the age of 23 on November 7, 1944. Her diaries and poems survived and have become part of Israeli popular culture.
Vera Atkins (née Rosenberg 1908–2000) was born in Romania, and emigrated to England where she never revealed her Jewish parentage. She became the highest-ranking female officer in British intelligence, and was responsible for all the agents sent into Occupied France.
From intelligence headquarters in London to a secret mission in Eastern Europe, these two women operated in entirely different capacities during the war: their experiences have been brought together in this exhibition.
Thin Air evokes the emotional atmosphere of the site of departure and the site of arrival by parachute, and captures the uncertainty and tension that accompanied these actions by involving the viewer’s presence. Unveiling the complex narratives that envelop these women’s stories and their portrayal in popular culture,
Underscoring the inadequate representations of women in history and visual culture, the installation illuminates the intricate structures that mediate our perception of information and influence the acts of looking, reading, and listening.