REVIEW EXCERPTS AND SUBJECT’S COMMENTS
ASPECTS OF THE TRUE SELF AND JEWS AND GERMANS
Mr. Berghash’s pictures achieve a resonant complexity, he has adopted some rather unconventional strategies in the six portraits on view; each consists of not one but several photographs; the pictures accompanied by extensive texts and they were all “taken” not by the photographer, but by his subjects.
-ANDY GRUNDBERG, The New York Times
…Whether Berghash succeeds in truthfully plumbing his subjects’ minds is known for certain only by them; but there is no doubt that he strikes to the core of the precept that photography is significantly related to memory. Photographs are often saved simply because they revive the past. Berghash has pushed the process of reviving the past to its most extreme and nearly unphotographable point by producing work that is the manifestation of memory, not just an instrument of recollection. –
– WESTON NAEF was the curator of Photography at the Metropolitan Museum and Director of Photography at the Getty Museum.
If it is not the ultimate goal of every museum to exhibit failures, perhaps it should be. For to seek out grand failures on the scale of Berghash’s JEWS AND GERMANS is to deal with the very edge of the possible. In the process, we learn not only about the capabilities of art and photography, but also about the nature of visual communications, and, of course, about ourselves.
– CHARLES DESMARAIS, former director California Museum of Photography, currently the president of The San Francisco Art Institute.
The combination of words and images creates a confessional mode that is powerful and evocative. The subjects are not so much objects of physiognomic interest as they are carriers of powerful truths however subjective their accounts.
– MARK JOHNSTONE, Artweek
PORTRAITS OF THE ROOTED AND UPROOTED
Photographing faces in four, Mark Berghash mocks social distinctions by cropping the results so that the drifter can’t be told from the solid citizen.
– VIVIAN RAYNOR, The New York Times
…Mr. Berghash allows a personality to assert itself even as he eliminates codes of dress, posture and hygiene – the visual cues that let us scan passersby for information about their status. Instead of bare feet and open hands, the fragments of the homeless that commonly all we dare look at on the street or subway, the presents show only faces and they could be anyone… “We tend to make people larger or smaller than life,” says Mr. Berghash, “In fact, there is only one size – human size.”
– RICHARD B. WOODWARD, The New York Times
There must be a mighty sizeable, invisible glob of Superglue between a mother and daughter because, no matter what forces may yank and twist it , their bond can never be broken… One of the more classically beautiful views of mother-and- daughter is Mark Berghash’s “Melissa and Mirium”…
– HEIDI LEGENBAUER Albany Record Recorder
Saving faces… Berghash has a preoccupation with the inner working of peoples’ minds. In many ways “Galut” is his most personal project inspired by his own complicated feelings about Judaism… He was surprised to find a strong generational divide. “The older they were, the more anti-Semitic memories they had… more of a sense of ‘us and them’. The younger generation had warm memories of Friday night dinners and how not conflicted they were about being Jewish and American, they did not feel a dichotomy.”
– HILARY LARSON The Jewish Week