Raconteurs d’histoires : récits de la nation

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Canada's Many Voices

 Plan de cours connexe
Tanya Rusnak
O Emigratsii (On Emigration)
L'artiste et son œuvre  |   L'étude de l'œuvre  |   Le patrimoine artistique et culturel
image of artwork
Tanya Rusnak, O Emigratsii (On Emigration), 1993-1996.
Multi-media installation. Dimensions variable. Collection of the artist. (detail)

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Rusnak's installation O Emigratsii (On Emigration) uses a range of media and incorporates a range of voices and images. It is room-size and grows and changes in composition depending on location. As you enter the installation space, you see a white shelf made out of metal, glass, and wood. On it are stacked wooden boxes. Some of the wooden boxes are decorated with Ukrainian symbols and engraved with simple meaningful words: VILLAGE, HUNGER, BLACK SEA, NEW LAND, PERISH. Other boxes with glass sides are filled with contents such as grains, coal, flour, soil, prairie grasses, flowers, leaves, dried mud, and plaster fragments from collapsed settlement houses.

Short texts that cover glass surfaces speak of immigrant experience. Other texts, drawn from archival material and records, show the hostile racism that greeted Ukrainian immigrants: Components such as beeswax, texts, mud, and plaster come to stand for more than just themselves when set apart from the everyday in boxes and on shelves, and when drawn into relationship with a variety of other fragments of life and the environment.