Please join me in San Francisco on Saturday, September 12 at Brian Gross Fine Art for my exhibition The Volcano Cycle.
On view will be ten new photoworks from The Volcano Cycle, the second part of the three-part series, Eden Turned on its Side. In The Volcano Cycle, I explore deep time through images of the smoldering volcanoes that make up Indonesia’s Ring of Fire, evoking thoughts of earth, climate change, and human co-evolution.
Reception for the Artist: Saturday, September 12, 3-5 pm
Artist Talk: 3:30 pm
Mt. Bromo from Above Encircled, 2011
dye sublimation on aluminum, edition 1/5, 32 x 45 3/4 inches framed
Women’s International Study Center Panel Discussion: How Women Artists Shape the Arts and Contribute to Social Change
On August 6, 2015, Meridel was invited to join a panel of artists, Harmony Hammond and Rose B. Simpson, to discuss with moderator Kymberly Pinder and keynote speaker Susan Fisher Sterling, Director of the National Museum of Women in the Arts on the topic of How Women Artists Shape the Arts and Contribute to Social Change.
This special lecture and moderated discussion explored the evolution of women artists over recent decades and their contributions to social change.
Presented by the Women’s International Study Center with the support of the New Mexico Committee of the National Museum of Women in the Arts.
For more details on the event and to see the videos please visit:
Event and Speakers Introduction: 04:26–5:55
Meridel talk: 1:24:06–1:33:07
Meridel Q&A: 1:40:12–1:42.34
In the Spring 2015 El Palacio magazine’s article titled, The Arts of Nuclear (Dis)enchantment by Lois P. Rudnick included Meridel Rubenstein’s multimedia work about Robert Oppenheimer and Los Alamos, Archimedes’ Chamber and the Oppenheimer’s Chair
Read the article here:
by Richard Tobin
original article here:
Meridel Rubenstein: Eden Turned On Its Side
And Cain went out… And dwelt in Nod, the land east of Eden.
David Richard Gallery
544 South Guadalupe Street, Santa Fe
Meridel Rubenstein makes inspired use of Adam and Eve as a visual conceit in Eden Turned on its Side, a large three-part photo installation about “intersections of nature and culture in relation to ecological and social imbalance” (gallery statement). Part two, Eden in Iraq, anchors part one’s earlier tree studies (Photosynthesis), from the 1990s, and the grim, gorgeous imagery of part three, The Volcano Cycle, from 2012. What unifies all three projects in Eden Turned on its Side is the artist’s concern with “ecological processes across time that either reinforce or destroy the notion of Eden” (gallery statement).
The Garden of Eden is a timeless literary theme, the archetypal “locus amoenus,” a lovely place of sensory delight—especially visual—a woodland, pasture, orchard, an enclosed park: Paradise. The actual context for the Eden in Iraq series is the Mesopotamian marshlands of southern Iraq, believed by some scholars to be the biblical site of the Garden of Eden. Eden in Iraq features two photographic prints that draw upon the Eden theme: Adam and Eve in La Cienega, USA and Adam and Eve in S. Iraq Marshes (The Al-Asadi family in the Garden of Eden). In each print, a man and woman stand on opposite sides of a tree in the center, forming three vertical bands against a broad horizontal backdrop—a northern New Mexican orchard in the first print, a marsh in the Iraqi image. Both prints deploy the Adam and Eve motif from European (especially Northern Renaissance) art depicting the biblical pair flanking the Tree of Knowledge (see van Eycks, Dürer). The composite motif of Adam, Eve, and Tree is a visual metonymy for the Genesis account of mankind’s precipitous fall from grace and expulsion from Paradise. In a kind of shorthand of the Eden narrative, this iconic motif was often reduced to just Adam and Eve, as seen, for example, on opposite end panels of triptych altarpieces that, when closed, joined the pair in a diptych.
Please join me for the second presentation in a multi-part series of exhibits that focuses on intersections of nature and culture in relationship to ecological and social imbalance. The show continues through June 21, 2015. Deepest thanks to all of you who came to the opening!
David Richard Gallery
544 S Guadalupe St, Santa Fe, NM 87501
This is the second presentation in a multi-part series of exhibits that focuses on intersections of nature and culture in relationship to ecological and social imbalance.
In this ArtBeat podcast that aired live on Thursday, May 28th, photographers Gay Block and Meridel Rubenstein talk with Kathryn Davis about their exhibitions at, respectively, the New Mexico Museum of Art and David Richard Gallery.
An environmental remediation and cultural project such as ours risks setbacks in a country decimated by war. When our project first began, Iraq appeared to be undergoing a process of restoration after decades of war. Our Eden in Iraq Wastewater Garden Project has had to adjust to the many swings backwards and forwards of a conflict zone. We are both encouraged by the progress of our project and disheartened. When we take a wide view, this moment is not really more difficult than others we’ve encountered over the past several years.
Six months after our very successful March 2014 visit to the marshes, jihadist forces(ISIS/Daesh) entered Iraq from Northwest Syria and now have control of the Northern source of the Euphrates River at the Mosul and Haditha dams. Turkey’s ongoing building of the Ilisu dam is affecting water shortages of the Tigris as well. An 8 year drought in the marshes was magnified this summer by months of record high temperatures (51c). The marshes are once again dry. Falling oil prices have drained the State of Iraq’s treasury. So, there is little the State is doing to help.
The current situation in Southern Iraq, where the population is heavily Shi’ite, remains unthreatened, despite military and political unrest elsewhere. The local and regional governments are functioning. But due to lack of water, there is great damage to livestock, wildlife, and foliage. The quality of life is threatened.
Our partner Jassim Al-Asadi, Director of the Nature Iraq office in Al Chibaish, in the midst of the marsh region, is keeping our project alive in the minds of local, regional and state officials. We prepared a requested Environmental Impact Report and preliminary designs for the Dhi Qar Governate a year ago. The project has now moved from Regional offices to the Ministry of Water Resources(MoWR). But with so many water problems, we will no longer wait for MoWR funding but proceed with our own fundraising in the coming months.
During this difficult time, we held a Workshop/Symposium in Singapore March 5-8, 2015. Our entire team, from 5 different countries could work together. Meridel and Peer received HASS CLASS funding, for 2 days we were joined by other professionals to share publicly our project thus far and to learn about water projects initiated by the University in others parts of the world. Images below from the conference. You can learn more about the event here: Restoring Eden at NTU
We were able to include the concluding Complexity Conference audience for our keynote speaker and team member Dr. Sander van Der Leeuw’s presentation “Invention and Innovation-The Long Term”. Dr. van der Leeuw arranged his lectures for both conferences as a 2 part sequence to be attended by both groups. Then we met privately in a closed working session for two days to continue our design, engineering and chemical analysis process. We invited Landscape architect and Columbia University Assistant Professor Julia Watson, to join us. Watson brought her extensive knowledge – using elemental air and water currents to enliven park spaces. Our 3 environmental engineers, Dr. Nelson and Tocchetto joined with Egr Jassim Al-Asadi to spend time working out very difficult hydrology and sewage questions for our site, to be continued as soon as Dr. Tocchetto can get back into Iraq.
Eden Turned on Its Side has been featured on the front cover of Pasatiempo, The New Mexican. Special thanks to Michael Abatemarco for his review of the show. The show is still ongoing till 24 August 2014 at the David Richard Gallery:
David Richard Gallery
Railyard Arts District
544 South Guadalupe Street, Santa Fe, NM 87501
p 505-983-9555 | f 505-983-1284
Just to keep our Eden in Iraq friends updated, in spite of the conflict in Northern Iraq, our environmental design and restoration project continues
In the three months since our last productive visit to the marshes and the regional Directorate in Nasariyah, jihadist forces have entered Iraq from the Northwest and threaten control of the Northern sources of the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers. A new central government is almost in place. Whatever the outcome, Southern Iraq up to this point is holding its own and proceeding with business as usual. Jassim Al Asadi, Director of the Nature Iraq office in the marshes assures us that the Dhi Qar Governate is in the midst of conducting Economic Feasability and Environmental Impact studies that are necessary in order to proceed.
Our team meets regularly on skype and will be ready with a design.