I Wish to Say

Sheryl Oring’s “Writer’s Block” sculptures, which were first shown on Berlin’s Bebelplatz as a tribute to the writers whose books were burned by the Nazis, were recently exhibited at the Ruffin Gallery at the University of Virginia. Fellow Bosch alum Russell Miller was on hand at the exhibition’s opening event to introduce the work. To create her sculptural installation, Oring collected hundreds of typewriters in and around Berlin. Dating from the 1920s and 30s these typewriters were then “caged” in sculptural boxes made of construction steel. By imprisoning the typewriters, Oring takes away the writer’s tool. The result is a symbolic statement about censorship that easily leads viewers to examine their ideas about free expression, about creativity, and about the nature of memory. After Bebelplatz, the work was  shown at the Jewish Museum, Berlin; the Lions’ courtyard of the Buda Castle, Budapest; the Boston Public Library; and Bryant Park at the New York Public Library.

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