Harry Nankin - Craters of the Moon

Exhibition: 29 May to 29 June, 2002

Harry Nankin

Craters of the Moon is a very personal and moving installation around the Holocaust (Shoah). It grew out of Nankin's pilgrimage to Poland, to the place of his grandparent's youth. The artwork brings together fragments - texts, torn fabric, pre-war maps of Poland, German maps of the moon from the same period and the tallit (prayer shawl) that Nankin was given by a Holocaust survivor. These fragments are recorded on clear film as layered shadows, hinting at absences.

'Craters of the Moon' is about a sense of place and the pain of displacement. This is a richly symbolic and emotional work. The layers and fragments within 'Craters of the Moon' suggest the complexity of the past and also impossibility of completely seeing or understanding the Poland of before. The moon here symbolises on the one hand cultural distance and desolation while at the same time being a constant presence throughout time and place. A source of light - but only in darkness.

Rather than just photographing the world, Nankin uses photographic materials and techniques to record traces, to question and to explore. 'Craters of the Moon' continues Nankin's eerily beautiful and intelligent use of the relevatory power of simple photographic processes.