As It Were...So To Speak: A Museum Collection in Dialogue with Barbara Bloom
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by Barbara Bloom
The installations of the conceptual artist Barbara Bloom (b. 1951) have captivated audiences for decades. Since the 1970s, her work has consistently redefined the way in which viewers understand objects. Bloom siphons meaning from the things with which we surround ourselves, and crafts an experience that is at once personal and universal.
In this beautiful artist's book featuring 15 color and 175 black and white illustrations, Bloom revisits her landmark 2013 solo exhibition at the Jewish Museum. The book features images of the museum's galleries reconstructed as rooms in a fictive house-the music room, the boudoir, the analyst's office-formed of objects from the permanent collection. These staged spaces are intertwined with fragments of text and images drawn from intellectuals, artists and authors (both historical and contemporary). Ranging from the charming (Torah pointers tipped with tiny hands, poised above a piano keyboard; silver spice containers shaped like peaches and pears) to the poignant (an empty, worn velvet case for a shofar horn; a Nazi playing card created from a defaced Torah), each object is infused with profound significance.