Monday, November 17, 2008

We are the people of the book

Textile sculpture
Height 7" x 6" width x 7" x 7" depth

I was born in Argentina, daughter to Jewish immigrants. My mother was born in Ninzny-Novgorod, in central Russia but registered as a Polish native in Brest-Litovsk. My father was born in a little shtetl near Odessa on the Black Sea. They met in Buenos Aires. My husband was born and grew up in the same city. His father came from Telenesht in Moldavia and his mother, was an Argentinian daughter of Rumanian Jews. We left the country for Canada in 1997. We and our two older children are currently living in Toronto, my youngest daughter is in Montreal.
For this project I decided to use leather covers which belonged to a book of Jewish History given to my husband for his Bar Mitzva. The book was written by the Argentinian Historian Simon Dubnov, the covers still have attached pieces of an Argentinian newspaper, used to make it sturdier. It aged being read by all of my husband’s family and became also my property when he brought it home after our wedding. Later in order to preserve it for further generations I had the bookbinding redone. I kept the old covers because I found them beautiful in themselves. There is also felted pieces once used to stuff them. I inserted between these covers and on these felted pieces small weavings, these represent pieces of my Jewish soul.
This book first created as an educational tool, and transformed into a family object has now become the genesis of a piece of art like the tapestries which have been a part of my life for many years. It’s pages tell the story of our ancestors. It’s old covers now embrace the meanings that accompanied my family in the succesive diasporas.
The sculpture stands as a metaphor for the transformations Jewish generations have undergone throughout history.

Materials used: silk, wool, cotton, synthetics, felt, leather, raffia, wood. Was part of the exhibit of The Pommegranate Guild of Judaic Textiles (I am one of it's members) for the Ashkenaz Festival in Toronto in 2005.

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