A Postcolonial Kinderhood Revisited
In 1993, the Jewish Museum commissioned Elaine Reichek to create an installation exploring her American Jewish identity. Through the use of braided rugs, a Colonial-style canopied bed, and other traditional decorative furnishings, A Postcolonial Kinderhood reimagined Reichek's 1950s childhood bedroom, its decor symbolizing desired assimilation into mainstream American culture. The new installation, A Postcolonial Kinderhood Revisited, will include some elements recently created by the artist. The exhibition's return presents an opportunity to contemplate its historical significance, as well as introduce new lines of inquiry. As Reichek observes, "The tension around the immigrant experience can never lose its currency in America." The bedroom, the installation's central metaphor, is the room where children sleep and play, where childhood dreams and nightmares merge.