“You are the last Solomons in the family.” The words his aunt said to him during his uncle Melvyn's funeral resonated with him for weeks.
“I felt a huge responsibility and this was the launchpad for this project. I understood that it was about keeping family identity going, and by extension, Jewish identity going,” recalls Daniel Solomons, who made this project into an art exhibition, which opened on Thursday at the Galería Yusto/Giner in Marbella.
His exhibition, 'Olam-haba/The world to come' presents the culmination of his investigation about the places, history, and rituals embedded in Hebrew culture.
Solomons (Madrid, 1977) describes his work as “a social and architectural journey from an often autobiographical viewpoint” which is the fruit of “a greater project” which will be displayed in the Casa Serafad in Madrid.
Solomons talks about his investigation of a “huge spectrum of characters and mannerisms” within Jewish identity.
An investigation which he did all by himself, in the city of London.
There, Solomons set his sights on the buildings with connections to Judaism and analysed “the links between function and space and how spaces are converted”.
A conceptual journey which took him to places like a synagogue which has been converted into a luxury apartment block, a former temple which is now a boxing club, and conversely, an old factory which has become a place of prayer for part of a community of ultra orthodox Jews.
Photographs, videos, drawings, and sculptures make up Solomons' intimate and universal approach to Jewish identity.
The exhibition is on display until 3 March in the Galería Yusto/Giner.
“A nation so small in numbers, which has been so close to disappearing several times over the course of history; these people, so hated, so scared, so persecuted, are still here. The ethnic and historical identity of Jews has lasted 5,000 years... And that's a long time,” remarks Solomons, the last of his name.