My work addresses German collective historical memory and reconciliation of the past. In my current practice, I scrutinize collective memory, power structures and personal boundaries using video, drawing and painting. My series History as Personal Memory introduces body work as a potential tool of investigation. I recite text by Nietzsche, Foucault and my own writings. I pour tar onto canvas, applying by hand a medium of significant symbolism to me. I project my grandfather’s portrait onto my body, utilizing it as a tool to reactivate memory. Through the work, I investigate Foucault’s ideas of power structure models, and how power is usurped by others. My interest in psychological consequences of compromised children’s boundaries reflects my own childhood sexual abuse. Correlations exist between my childhood abuse and the history of Germany. In my video, I tear pages from a history book about the Third Reich. Many Germans of my generation would like to expunge this historical fact, yet it is important to face and discuss this past, to prevent imposed trauma and desecration from happening again. This mirrors my unsuccessful suppression of traumatic memories. Through making History as Personal Memory, I learnt that working through painful memories heals my trauma.
Ira Hoffecker is a German-Canadian artist practicing in Victoria, Canada. She has shown her work in solo, duo and group exhibitions in England, Canada, and Germany, winning various prizes for her painting and video work, including shortlist for the John Moores Painting Prize and the Liverpool Biennial 2016, Nomination for Best Documentary at the Back in the Box Competition 2017 in Los Angeles, and Official Selections at both the Manchester Film Fest and German United Film Festival in 2018.