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The rubble war leaves behind

An exhibition on the effects of warfare

The Center for Art, Design and Visual Culture (CADVC) presents an exhibition called Out of Rubble, which depicts the destruction that war can, and has, caused physically, psychologically and spiritually.

Located in the Fine Arts building, the Center for Art, Design and Visual Culture held an opening reception for the Out of Rubble exhibition last Thursday evening. The works, which represent the aftermath of warfare from different places around the world, strive to give people a sense of the ruin that war leaves behind.

“This exhibition was put together to present artists responding to conflicts around the world,” said Symmes Gardner, the Executive Director of the CADVC. Out of Rubble supports works by 17 international artists and architects from over 10 countries. Each piece reflects a scene or example of warfare and how it deeply affected its surroundings.

“The [exhibition’s] setting gives the viewers the opportunity to form a one-to-one relationship with the pieces,” said Gardner. Rather than giving a tour, the goal was to provide enough space for viewers to really connect with the pieces. Instead of distracting them with a large amount of text next to each piece, a packet containing their descriptions is available.

Kelley Schmidt, a freshman biology major, said, “My art professor told me about this. It’s a lot different than I thought it would be. The whole thing is very emotional and eye-opening.” Her favorite piece was “Wasteland: Najaf, Iraq 2005” by Enrique Castrejon. Made out of adhesive tape, pencil, ink and thumb tacks, it’s an abstract depiction of a man walking through a war-torn street.

“We’re often left with these disastrous images in the media and become so focused on them that it’s hard to imagine a future of recovery,” said Gardner with regard to “Repairing Lebanon” by Lenka Clayton. By digitally altering photographs taken in 2006 of buildings left destroyed by the war in Israel, Clayton is able to repair them and present a before and after representation of reconstruction and recovery.

Out of Rubble examines the many different aspects of war, from the causes and consequences to the possibility of a better tomorrow. The curator, Susanne Slavick, is the Andrew W. Mellon Professor of Art at Carnegie Mellon University. Her book, which shares a title with the exhibit, displays all of the pieces as a whole and discusses the abstract theme which the pieces hope to convey.

These pieces speak to the havoc that warfare wreaks in places around the world and in the lives of individuals. The artists and architects behind these works of art were able to express their responses to this chaos.

“[Susanne Slavick] is offering a lecture in the Performing Arts building on April 30 at 7 p.m.,” said Gardner. The CADVC is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For anyone who’s interested in viewing these powerful works of art, the Out of Rubble exhibition will be open until May 16.