Jayme Gershen

Presented at SLIDELUCK Miami I

Artist website

We followed up with Jayme about her Doris project.

Doris is my grandma and she has dementia. In a moment of life transition, unsure of what I should do next, I ended up becoming my grandmother’s caretaker. It was easy for her because she thought I was just home for a visit. For me, it was a homecoming after years of distance from my family. For my mom, Doris’ caretaker for years and years, it was a relief because she was given a chance to have her life back.  Essentially this work was a diary of our time together. It was also a lesson in patience, appreciation, and a bit of a glimpse at my future. Since the video was completed, we (as in Doris and I) have moved into an assisted living facility. They call me the youngest resident and everyone from the staff to the other residents call Doris “grandma”. I have continued to document the experience through Instagram.

As for other work, I am also working on a series called the Emigrant Immigrant that explores immigrant identity and challenges stereotypes through daily life stories (work in progress). I’m going to France at the end of March to continue with an immigration story that I began in Miami, FL a few years ago. I am passionate about this work because my husband’s US visa has been repeatedly denied and through an insane application process I began to wonder what being an immigrant really means. What I have since learned is that the word immigrant encompasses a huge variety of people and lifestyles. As the Emigrant Immigrant develops, I want to create a visual connection between people and be supportive in the telling of their personal story. I also want to drum up conversation about immigration, drawing parallels and connections between everyone from a foreign investor to a refugee, a student to someone who is undocumented, and a wandering artist to a nomadic farmer.

An updated version of Doris by Jayme Gershen.

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