Pictura Gallery

Inbal Abergil | What's Left Behind

February 7, 2023

Curatorial Statement

Grief has strange physics. You lose something and gain what feels like more weight than you can bear. In her project, What’s Left Behind, Inbal Abergil follows the thread of grief as it winds its way through the families of departed soldiers. Reading several stories at once makes it apparent that while some experiences have similarities, every loss is unique. Bereavement is a journey that is at once amorphous, boundaryless, and yet strangely concrete. For example, how does one sort through the physical objects that a person has left behind? What do they mean? An object that seems of little value in the eyes of a stranger can become a lifeline to a grieving parent or spouse. 

There is a knock on the door that military families hope to never receive. Notifiers arrive in pairs; one chaplain and one officer are tasked with bearing the most difficult news. Abergil has included their perspective, with large unflinching portraits that are interspersed between the family stories. Their bodies are poised in formal dress uniforms, but sorrow reflects back from their eyes. The images ask us to confront the faces that no parent wants to see. In the gallery, these portraits are larger than life size, as inescapable as the news they bear.


Their Stories

We have compiled an exhibition booklet with interviews that will provide a more in-depth account of each family’s story and offer the reader a chance to bear witness to these losses. You can pick up a free copy in the gallery.