The Human Element Project

Memory Reconstruction: A Sacred Culture Rebuilt

On view in the Museum of Tolerance Lobby | April 16th – June 21st

Image courtesy of Lori Shocket

"The Museum of Tolerance (MOT) is pleased and proud to be a key partner in the development and launch of Dr. Lori Shocket's unique Human Element Project, for it encapsulates all the elements necessary for the preservation and continuity of memories too precious to be lost or forgotten. Memory is our only satellite navigation system to a benign and gracious future. Museums are the curators of memory and, therefore, the guardians of the conscience of human kind. It is perfectly fitting that this project should be launched at the MOT, marking Yom Hashoah 2015. It is our sincere hope that the initiative will assume a life of its own and be adopted and adapted in many communities across the globe, for it has truly universal resonance."
- Liebe Geft, Museum of Tolerance Director

Memory Reconstruction exhibition at the Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles chronicles the work of 129 survivors from 14 different countries who were brought together as part of a unique workshop experience in which they produced artistic renditions of their stories.

This powerful installation uses the rubric of the periodic table to explore an elemental hypothesis: Even in the midst of great physical destruction, the human spirit has the power to transcend. Each of the 129 panels are arranged to reflect the visual structure of the chart. In addition, each survivor’s story is color-coded to identify country of origin and holds an alphanumeric value that represents the initials of the survivor and his or her age at time of creating this work, mirroring the traditional chemical nomenclature.

Each panel expresses moments of survival, tragedy, and loss. This project moves beyond the generalized platitude of “never forget,” to delve into intensely personal stories—honoring the whole person and their journey-- that are both deeply unique and harmonize together to tell a universal story.

Learn more about the project and installation:

Memory Reconstruction from Jonathan Skurnik on Vimeo.


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