Sandrine Hermand-Grisel

Photo Editor - Photographer
All About Photo
    All About Photo presents 'The 544' by Sarah Ketelaars by Sandrine Hermand-Grisel  
All About Photo presents 'The 544' by Sarah Ketelaars
Location: San Diego, CA
Nationality: French
Biography: Sandrine Hermand-Grisel is a professional photographer who specializes in Fine Art Photography and Printmaking. She grew up in Paris, France and in London, UK before she moved to the United States with her family in 2006. She decided to use her... MORE
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All About Photo presents 'The 544' by Sarah Ketelaars
sandrine hermand-grisel
May 13, 2024
Summary
Part of the exclusive online showroom developed by All About Photo, this exhibition is on view for the month of May 2024 and includes eighteen photographs from the series ‘The 544’
The 544

This ongoing project is a memorial to 544 psychiatric patients murdered by the Nazis in 1941 in Latvia. The figurative images I’ve made are all cyanotypes. Eventually there will be one for each man, woman and child killed.

My grandmother was working at the hospital from where the patients were taken. I have visited the hospital and found that although the story is known no memorial exists. The only official record seems to be a short paragraph in the Nuremberg report. So far I have found no record of the names.

Using a historic photographic process feels fitting for a project examining a historical event. An ancient pagan Latvian folk symbol is drawn on by hand in gold ink to each piece.

It is impossible for me to look at these images without thinking about how the lives of these people ended. However, the project is primarily intended as a memorial. I wanted the images to hint at some more celebratory moments, to remember the lives lived before these people entered the hospital; before they died. Not knowing anything about the identities of the dead, I have tried to imagine each one as a unique, precious being, and give each back a little of the character stripped from them when they were murdered and reduced by history to a number on a list of nameless victims.

The project is the second in a trilogy looking at my family history, examining themes of cultural inheritance, identity and intergenerational trauma.

Curator: Christy Karpinski, Founder and editor of F-Stop MagazineSarah Ketelaars - The 544
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All About Photo presents 'The 544' by Sarah Ketelaars by Sandrine Hermand-Grisel
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