Artistic Roots

Event: Minnesota

Published November 27, 2007, issue of November 30, 2007.
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Inspired by a trip to Rhodes, Greece, Minneapolis-based artist Leah Golberstein created Uprooted Lights, an installation that explores religious and cultural diversity. With handmade paper-and-fiber sculptures, as well as tree limbs and plant material, Golberstein creates a sanctuary-like space that, she says, uses “trees as a metaphor for process and change.” Golberstein noted that she was struck by the notion that trees stand as witnesses to the events of past generations.

Throughout its tumultuous history, Rhodes has been ruled by many different powers, including the Romans, the Knights of St. John, the Ottoman Turks, Italy and Greece. Jews never had a particularly easy time on the Mediterranean island, and most of the Ladino-speaking community perished during the Holocaust. Golberstein, an observant Jew, was surprised when she found herself deeply moved by the iconography of the Greek Orthodox. In Uprooted Lights, she examines political and social transition, displaced persons, and the marginalization and acceptance of different religious groups. The exhibit includes a floating chupah, a Ner Tamid and rosary beads.

“It is about uprooted people of any culture,” Golberstein said. “The essence of the exhibit is, don’t be quick to judge.”

Form+Content Gallery, 210 N. 2nd St., Minneapolis; through Dec. 13. (612-436-1151 or www.formandcontent.org)


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