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Thelma Mathias

My Father's List

Plaster installation
1 of 4 works in solo exhibit.
"The Pulling of the Threads," at The Newark Museum, Newark, New Jersey

This work is a recreation in cast plaster, of the items on a list drawn up by Immigrations in 1938, of the possessions my father brought to the U.S. when he fled Nazi Germany. The installation was initially exhibited at Yeshiva University Museum, N.Y.C. in 1995 , shown here as part of a group of works by Thelma Mathias.

Over 115 categories of items, all in white plaster, spew out of plaster suitcases, a reflection of obssessive collecting, assesmbled in fearful circumstances and here, obssessively reconsidered. As the viewer is overwhemed by the volume of objects, their spectral presence shifts one's perceptions from tangible reality to a primordal realm of dream-like memory.