“Onkel Oskar’s Suspenders”
“Onkel Oskar’s Suspenders”, a sculptural installation in Sherman Creek Park, Inwood, NY, is a tribute to the life of my mother, Gizelle, who was libertated from the Budapest Ghetto to migrate from one country to another (Israel, Germany, India) until her arrival in NY in 1968. The sculptural installation is a monument to her as well as to other family members (Onkel Oskar, Trude), who shared her traumatic experiences, though in a different way. The story of Gizelle was told through puppets in two performances in the park in November, 2018.
In preparation for the installation, small maquettes were made first in styrofoam (one to six inches high) and clay. These were then enlarged to life sized styrofoam models which were then translated into wood. The fabrication of the models and final sculptures took about 1 1/2 years. “Oskar and me” is mounted on four wooden posts about 7 feet high at the entrance of Sherman Creek Park and overlooked tenth avenue, heavy with traffic and hence the sculpture must have been seen by hundreds of motorists. The sculpture of the horseshoe crab was installed at the edge of the Harlem River opposite Tante Trude, who held a rondel above her head through which an ocean liner steamed. These sculptures allude to the trans-atlantic ship voyage I undertook with my parents to reach America. “I dream of my childhood day and night”, the title of the floating pond sculpture, refers to my childhood in Berlin.