Jan. 7, 2020
For Immediate Release
Waterloo – Book Room, an upcoming exhibition at Wilfrid Laurier University’s Robert Langen Art Gallery, delves into themes of memory and trauma using journals filled with scraps of fabric, bits of newspaper, text and paintings. The books are opened from floor to ceiling like accordions and arranged in a way that creates intimate spaces within the gallery. The images convey snippets in time, but they also explore the nature of memory itself.
The mixed-media installation by Toronto-based artist Rochelle Rubinstein opened Jan. 6 and runs until Feb. 15. The opening reception will be held on Jan. 20 from 7 to 9 p.m.
“Rubinstein’s combined imagery, text and collage create an impactful, free-flowing narrative that allows viewers to try a different reading style, not simply horizontal and linear,” said Suzanne Luke, curator of the Robert Langen Art Gallery. “Each book can cleverly be read from both sides, thus providing another side to history.”
The images and materials in Book Room tell fragments of larger stories: a family’s internment in the Holocaust, a mother’s weaving, the Iraq war.
“Like trauma, we can never take in all of a book’s meaning in one sitting. But the fact that, after reading, we know all that a book contains, suggests that reading is circular, a return. And like a fractured self, the narrative makes more sense, or means differently, over time, with each successive reading,” said Rubinstein, in her artist’s statement.
Rubinstein is a printmaker, painter, and fabric and book artist. Her works have been exhibited around the world, including in Dublin, London and New York. She was a member of Loop Gallery for 18 years and curated exhibitions at MonTon Window Gallery in Toronto for seven years. She has also worked with vulnerable populations as a community arts facilitator through workshops and projects involving drawing, printmaking, sewing and book-making.
The Robert Langen Art Gallery is open from 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday to Friday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekends. Admission is free.
The Robert Langen Art Gallery is Wilfrid Laurier University’s visual arts centre. Exhibition programs and activities are connected to the university’s curriculum to foster creative thinking, exploration of ideas and community.
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