This weekend one of my favorite DC artists will open her solo show at Heiner Contemporary. The show is collection of three bodies of work that I had the privilege of seeing in progress in her studio over a year ago, just as she was beginning to express the ideas on paper. Rachel Farbiarz has already proven to be a prolific artist who has the ability to create powerful works in almost any medium. In Take Me With You, Farbiarz will show her work in three different mediums; drawing, collage, and installation.
The first, which is one of the most profound concepts I have ever seen, is her series entitled The Apology Series. The series is a transcribed apology from the past prime minister of Australia, Kevin Rudd, for the country’s participation in illegal activities with the British. The result is a whimsical, powerful display of words, lines, and if you let your mind wander, an image of a beautiful sentiment.
In her artist statement, Farbiarz says that she creates her work in “an effort to memorialize, conserve and dignify words, things, people and happenings."
The other piece in Take Me With You that might ring a little closer to home is the collage piece in the series Christmas Truces & Live-and-let-live, entitled Memorial Hill. This piece is equally as powerful as her more lengthy apology. It is a beautiful synergy of different mediums to create the image of a procession of various historical figures. Farbiarz became interested in a period of World War I known as the truces, when members of all sides would come together for a brief time to put war behind them. In this piece she is most interested in what gets left behind in that interaction - both physically and emotionally. All that is left behind fills the blank space on the piece - both physically and mentally for the viewer.