In Eden In Iraq, Rubenstein explores themes of destruction and renewal through the social, political, and environmental history of Southern Iraq, the area believed to be the location of the Biblical Eden on Earth.
Rubenstein’s series Eden Turned on its Side investigates ecological processes across time that either reinforce or destroy the notion of Eden. These photoworks focus on the poetic intersection of nature and culture in relation to ecological and social imbalance. Rubenstein’s previous exhibitions at the gallery focused on Photosynthesis and The Volcano Cycle, the first two parts of the cycle. In the final segment, Eden In Iraq, she has documented the land, culture, and people of war torn Southern Iraq, and co-designed a wastewater garden/memorial that aims to transform relics of war into art.
In Eden In Iraq, Meridel Rubenstein explores environmental devastation and renewal in the marshes of Southern Iraq, the area believed to be the site of Biblical Eden on Earth. Rubenstein captures the cycle of environmental, military, and cultural devastation through compositions of layered imagery, including ancient Sumerian ziggurats, marshland plants and animals, contemporary Iraqi domestic interiors, destroyed Islamic shrines, the marshland peoples, and an icon of the Sumerian goddess Inanna. Realized through dye sublimation images on aluminum, works printed on linen, and woven jacquard tapestries, the photoworks in the exhibition reveal the complex interconnections between the cultural histories, political forces, and their impact on this area of the world.
Meridel Rubenstein was born in Detroit, MI and received an MA (1974) and MFA (1977) from the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque.
Meridel Rubenstein: Eden In Iraq
Exhibition Dates: February 23 – April 6, 2019
Reception for the artist: Saturday, February 23, 2019 from 4pm – 6pm with an Artist talk and book signing: 4:30pm
Brian Gross Fine Art
248 Utah Street
San Francisco, CA 94103