71125, fifty years of silence : Eva Kellner's story

Tana Kellner American

Not on view

“Tatana Kellner made two artists’ books of similar format, one devoted to her mother, the other to her father, about their lives, and experiences in a concentration camp, during World War II. Exemplars of both are in the Robert J. Ruben collection; on exhibit is the one with her mother’s story. Etched into the plain pine box with a slide-off lid, such as that used for Orthodox Jewish funerals, is a replica of Eva Kellner’s concentration camp number. Inside, a lifelike three-dimensional image of Eva Kellner’s forearm and hand, with the inked tattoo embedded in the pink, naturalistic skin, as the arm and hand are embedded in the text, die cut around the arm. Turning the pages reveals more and more of the story, and more and more of forearm and hand to the final full paper cast at the end. On the back of every other leaf is Eva Kellner’s handwritten personal story, from her life as a free individual in Prague to her internment, to her liberation — the blue ink put to a new use, to serve as witness. The translucent sheets allow images of the concentration camps to glimmer through, like memory. These alternate with the printed English translation. Behind this easily readable account, and standing in poignant contrast, are back images of smiling faces, early 20th century dress, informal family photographs.” -- Beyond the Text: Artists' Books from the Collection of Robert J. Ruben by Yvonne Korshak and Robert J. Ruben, p.36

71125, fifty years of silence : Eva Kellner's story, Tana Kellner (American, born Czechoslovakia, 1950)

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