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Rokeby by EveNSteve
38” x 354” Carbon pigment on Japanese Haruki. In-camera collage on film with hand-written text. Unique one of one. 2019
Rokeby is a monumental artwork by EveNSteve depicting the Vermont National Historic Landmark and museum of the same name. In it, evocative photographic imagery of the site is combined with handwritten historic texts spanning the site’s fascinating and important history.
Rokeby was an active site on the Underground Railroad as well as a homestead and working farm to four successive generations of Vermont Quakers. In the artwork, Stephen Schaub employs a 140 degree Widelux panning-lens camera, which creates individual panoramas that mimic human vision. Vertical lines indicate overlapping frames of the film, which in turn are composed of multiple exposures. The resulting in-camera college on film expresses a total combined reality of 840 degrees- a scene rooted in reality, yet which does not actually exist.
This imagery is then overlaid and interwoven by texts handwritten into the work by Eve Schaub and derived from the long and fascinating history of the place: the letters and writings of the Robinson family, as well as the Quakers, farmers, abolitionists, artists, and authors who made Rokeby their home.
“The result is a work of art that reaches back into history and pulls it into the present,” describes curator and art critic Ric Kasini Kadour. “It is grand and epic, rich with detail that encourages the viewer to pause and look slowly and consider the past and what it means to the present.”
Kadour elaborates: “Great art demands that we slow down and look and ponder, three things contemporary life rarely allows us to do. The Rokeby photograph is a near perfect example of how contemporary art can pick up the unfinished work of history and speak to us in the present.”
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