Emily Hass lives and works in New York City. For the last decade she has made drawings and installations using architectural records of the Berlin homes that Jews and persecuted artists and intellectuals were forced to flee in the 1930s. Hass uses archival materials to illuminate an obscured history, and make visible the homes -- and lives -- that were abandoned under duress. Through the language of architecture, the work is concerned with identity, place, and a culture's loss both of individual citizens and of its creative tradition. Now that Berlin has been transformed from a departure point into a destination for exiles fleeing conflict, she has embarked on a new project depicting the homes left behind by refugees coming to Berlin from Syria and elsewhere, reflecting on the cycle and universality of being stateless.
Emily has graduate degrees in psychology and design from Harvard University and has been awarded grants from the New York Foundation for the Arts, the Jerome Foundation, and the American Council on Germany. She is a MacDowell Colony fellow and has received residencies at the Dora Maar House, and the Josef and Anni Albers Foundation.
In residence in 2019, she developed new work she calls “Unwoven,” made by removing the warp or the weft of burlap, strand by strand. Thinking of the repeated losses that test displaced individuals, relationships, and whole communities. The pieces she made in Heinz were based on the corners of tarps that serve as make-shift DIY shelters found on refugee camps on the island of Samos, Greece. Hass is currently a Howard Foundation fellow and was recently awarded a grant from the Gottlieb Foundation.