Monday, February 18, 2013

Rachel Whiteread

Rachel Whiteread is a contemporary British artist who deals with the absence of a space, the negative space of a room or building, and how such an mass' proportions give it its solidity and equivalence to its environment. For example, in Vienna, Austria, is planted permanently a Holocaust Memorial dedicated to the 65,000 Jewish Austrians that were killed during the second world war. Created of concrete and steel, she depicts the outside as cast library bookshelves, seemingly "inside out"suggesting that neither the books' spines are not visible, nor are their contents available for view. This is symbolic of the Jewish of Austria. The memorial is reminiscent of her other "empty spaces" pieces, where she examines how the negative of a space can depict memory and loss. Whiteread made sure to have the feel of the memorial fit smoothly into the urban architecture of its surrounding buildings. She believes that the memorial must hurt, rather than her goal be that it be beautiful.

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