Naturalization by Aaron Wax

Issue 112

Naturalization is an exploration into the life of my grandfather, a Polish Jew, who moved to the United States immediately before the Second World War with hopes to earn enough money to bring his wife and children to join him. Unfortunately, the War began and they were killed. Although he passed away before I was born, I have always felt close to his story. If not for his great loss I would not be alive. I create images from his saved objects, photographs, and documents. These photographs act as the framework for reconstructing his story. I also appropriate other materials to supplement my study.

Much of what I know from my grandfather’s life has been learned through oral histories. I am fascinated by how these stories can change overtime and how after numerous retellings a story becomes only a shadow of the original experience, both through omitting elements and exaggerating others. This shift inevitable in our imperfect memory allows for my creation of a new and equally flawed narrative. Due to the inconsistencies and limitations within my family’s memory I will never be able to create an accurate representation of my grandfather’s life, but this project is the construction a reimagined narrative based on his past.

Aaron Wax lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.
To view more of Aaron's work, please visit his website.

 Portrait

Portrait

 
 Naturalization

Naturalization

 
 The Future

The Future

 
 Untitled

Untitled

 
 Passport

Passport

 
 Globe

Globe

 
 Untitled

Untitled

 
 Wallet

Wallet

 
 Map

Map

 
 Tombstone

Tombstone

 
 Castle

Castle

 
 Photographs

Photographs

 
 Grapes

Grapes

 
 Grandpa at Work

Grandpa at Work

 
 Untitled

Untitled

 
 Untitled

Untitled

 
 Blueprint

Blueprint

 
 Grandma

Grandma

 
 Photo Booth

Photo Booth

 
 Portrait

Portrait