when a book holds your memories

Lesia Maruschak, artist
LJ 119, Thomas Jefferson Building
Thursday November 2, 2023
5:00-6:00pm, Talk, Discussion, and Collection Display / 6:00-7:00, Community Bookmaking
Please register for this event HERE
For questions, contact Stephanie Stillo at ssti@loc.gov

To mark the 90th anniversary of the Holodomor, 1932-1933 famine-genocide in Soviet Ukraine, Lesia Maruschak will premiere a new in situ installation created especially for the Library of Congress. Titled, when a book holds your memories, the new body of work will become part of Maruschak’s Project MARIA; hailed by the National Holodomor Genocide Museum (Kyiv, Ukraine) as one of the most important visual arts exhibitions addressing the famine-genocide. when a book holds your memorieswill provide the backdrop for a discussion of her three books on the Holodomor, two of which are in the collection of the Library of Congress, Transfiguration and MARIA. Maruschak’s third fine art publication in the series Transfiguration: Spirits & Traces will be released in November 2023 and will be on view for the event.

In addition to a talk by Maruschak,when a book holds your memories, will include a community bookmaking activity for visitors. Reminding us that there is no one correct way to narrate history, visitor will encounter a room filled with photographic images of blurred portraits, sacred books, and landscapes blended with Soviet posters, excerpts from soldiers’ notebooks and pages from children’s readers. Visitors will be invited to take pages from the stacks, sew them together and create their own books—what Maruschak calls “containers for memories.” No experience required and all ages are welcome to participate! These newly created containers of memories will be included in Maruschak’s larger body of work on the topic.

About the Artist
Lesia Maruschak is an artist working across photography, performance, and the staging of ambitious installations within the landscape. Her practice is underpinned by rigorous research examining the land, histories of colonization, geopolitics, and exile. She has exhibited at 65 museums, galleries and art spaces worldwide. The National Holodomor Genocide Museum, Kyiv named her mobile memorial Project MARIA as the most important exhibition on the Soviet Ukraine famine-genocide. Maruschak’s monograph Maria won the Kyiv International Book Festival Grand Prix Award and Experimental Book Award and was shortlisted for the 2019 Rencontres de Arles Book Award and the Athens Photography Festival Book Award.

Maruschak’s highly coveted limited edition art books are held in numerous collections including the National Art Library, Victoria & Albert Museum, Thomas Watson Library at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Maison Européenne de la Photographie, Boston Athenaeum, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library at Duke University, Green Library-Special Collections at Stanford, Rare Books & Special Collections at the Library of Congress, and Butler Library-Special Collections at Columbia University.

Maruschak is the founder of the MENEZVUT and VYDNO Collectives and her work is supported by the Canada Council of the Arts, the Ukrainian World Congress, the Canada First World War Internment Recognition Endowment Council and numerous private foundations.  Maruschak is the recipient of the General of Canada Silver Medal Award and Caring Canadian Award, Ukrainian Canadian Congress Saskatchewan National Builder’s Award, and the Ottawa Woman of Inspiration Award. She is currently a Research Affiliate at the University of Saskatchewan, Prairie Centre for the Study of Ukrainian Heritage. Lesia Maruschak (b. 1961) currently lives/works between Ottawa, ON, and Alvena, SK. She graduated University of Saskatchewan (MA), University of Ottawa (MBA) and completed fine art studies in the United States and Romania.

We acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts and the Franko Family Foundation.

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