Shterna Goldbloom

Shterna Goldbloom will be receiving her MFA from Rhode Island School of Design (2019). Her photography has been exhibited at EXPOChicago, the Mint Museum (NC), the Hartmann Gallery (IL), the Gelman Gallery (RI) and at Double Exposure in the Fotovakschool in Amsterdam and Rotterdam. She is the grateful recipient of many prizes including the Hahnemühle Award and fellowships from Anderson Ranch, Columbia College, and RISD. Her work can be seen in Lilith Magazine and In Geveb. Shterna is also an award-winning teacher of visual arts and was the recipient of a Yetzirah Fellowship.

Ich Bin De Sitra Achra

For the first sixteen years of my life, I was taught to stay away from everything unholy, all the deepest, darkest profanities of the world, the “other side.” Sitra Achra is the term used to describe all the things on the “other side” of holiness, like queers, and women who don’t fit traditional definitions of femininity, women who go to college and want have babies outside of marriage and without husbands. Sitra Achra is me. Now, as I sit on the other side, I try and find a way to see the two sides of myself together, to create a conversation between tradition and heresy.

This conversation takes the form of self-portraits, photographs of myself intended to represent individuals who have historically been excluded from representation—Jews, queers, women.

סטרא אחרא Sitra Achra shows day-to-day life, mundane spaces, doubled images, good and bad. I want to show people the way they see themselves, nuanced, complicated. I look to history with regards to clothing, situation, and placement. I also think about ideas that are important to me and the larger community now: How am I—as a queer Jewish woman— going to create a family? How have Jewish women historically created families? How might this have been discussed in the traditional texts? How can I harness modern technology to address ancient inequalities?

To view more of Shterna Goldbloom’s work please visit her website.