[Mendele] Mendele Personal Notices & Announcements--Art exhibition in Minneapolis on the theme of texts by Sutzkever

Victor Bers victor.bers at yale.edu
Sun Nov 22 18:19:05 EST 2009

Mendele Personal Notices & Announcements

Nov. 22, 2009

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From:robynawend at gmail.com



Letterpress prints, photographs, and installation by Robyn Stoller Awend


Thursday, December 3, 2009 =96 Saturday, January 9, 2010

Gallery hours: Thursday =96 Saturday, 12:00 =96 6:00 pm and by appointment

* *

*Opening Reception*

Saturday, December 5, 2009 from 7 =96 9 pm

*Closing Reception *

Saturday, January 9, 2010 from 7 - 9 pm

Poetry and writings inspired by the literary works of Abraham Sutzkever 
and the themes of survival explored in the exhibition. Introduced by 
Daniel Ettedgui and read by Alison Morse, Paulette Myers-Rich and Margie 

All events are at Form+Content Gallery and are free and open to the 


Form + Content Gallery
Whitney Square Building
210 North 2nd Street, Suite 104, Minneapolis, MN 55401
Between 2nd Avenue N. and 3rd Avenue N.


formandcontent at gmail.com


Gallery: 612/436-1151 or Howard Oransky: 651/592-1841


We dreamers now have to become soldiers and fight

And melt into bullets the soul of the lead.

Abraham Sutzkever, *The Lead Plates of the Romm Printers, *1943

A haunting poem written in the Vilna Ghetto of Lithuania by Abraham 
Sutzkever in September 1943 has inspired Minneapolis artist Robyn Stoller 
Awend to create the exhibition *Survival: When Truth and Fiction 
This is an ambitious installation that includes new letterpress 
prints,photographs, and hand-crafted bullets. Stoller Awend began with the 
poet's story of doomed Lithuanian Jews melting down lead printing type to 
make bullets as a last resort for survival against the Nazis. The 
exhibition includes an antique type drawer that once housed lead printing 
type, now weighted with bullets and suspended open from the gallery wall.
Photographs taken by the artist while visiting the site of Vilna's former 
Jewish ghetto capture the remnants of Jewish life striving to remain 
present.  Her letterpress prints contain imagery formed through the use of 
text.  Stoller Awend'work references and reinvigorates the centuries-long 
history of the letterpress printing process.

Sutzkever's poem of survival is layered with mystery and 
controversy,causing decades of debates regarding the accuracy of the 
events and questioning its truth or fiction. Before the war, Vilna was 
once a major center of Jewish learning and publishing. 95% of 
Lithuania'Jews were murdered in the Holocaust, the highest rate of 
genocide of any country in Europe. Of the many Romm Press buildings that 
were once in operation in Vilna beginning in 1805, only the outside of one 
structure remains today.
The Romm Press  famous for printing some of the most important Judaic 
scholarly texts in Eastern Europe, including the Babylonian Talmud 
hassince been converted into businesses and residential living areas.

This exhibition has been funded in part through a grant from the Howard 
B.Brin Jewish Arts Endowment, a designated endowment of the Jewish 
Community Foundation of the Minneapolis Jewish Federation.

*Robyn Stoller Awend Biography*

Based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Robyn Stoller Awend has a BFA from the 
University of Arizona, Tucson and an MFA from the university of Dallas, 
Texas.  She primarily works in the letterpress tradition; using actual 
lead type letters of the Hebrew alphabet in her compositions which are 
printed at the Minnesota Center for Book Arts. Her work has been included 
in over forty exhibitions nationally. Stoller Awend is a founding member 
of Form+Content Gallery.

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