Zecher Lahaim (In remembrance for living)
Project made for The Prozna Project 2009. Prozna Street is the only street in Warsaw which survived the destruction of the ghetto.
In Jewish tradition upon first moving in to a new house, it is customary to leave a certain space on the wall free of decoration and furnishing as a remembrance of the destruction of the Temple (zecher lachurban). In many Jewish religious homes one can see a small square, usually around the size of a few bricks (+-45cm), with no plaster, paint or finishing – the material of the wall exposed. Similar to the tradition of breaking a glass in wedding, the costume reminds us that no happiness can be perfect and we should remember the churban (the destruction and in Yiddish also the word used for the Holocaust) also in times of celebration.
The building in Prozna st. is all a zecher lachurban, the bricks are exposed and there is no plaster or paint, a contrast to the new big fancy building in center Warsaw. These marking in the corners of the building are a reverse to the old costume – a remembrance for the living - Zecher Lahaim – A symbolic gesture of remembrance for life, for those who lived, for the homes and families who lived there and for those who are still living.