American University Museum, Sylvia Berlin Katzen Sculpture Garden
Washington, DC 2008-2009
I was born in Israel's Northern Galilee, where three tributaries join to form the Jordan River.
My parents escaped from Czechoslovakia just as World War II was starting, and began to put down "roots" into the soil of the parched Middle East as new-made farmers.
My family roots have always played an important role in my life. They have been the subject of my constant curiosity, even when kept "hidden" and scarcely mentioned in my family.
In the poem "From the Book of Questions," Pablo Neruda asks "Why do trees conceal the splendor of their roots?" In this sculpture series, I dig literally and metaphorically to uncover the "hidden" structures and shapes of the roots of different plants, exploring differences and relationships between the parts above ground and the parts below. In creating an installation of welded metal sculptures, my motive is to uncover and discover roots even when they are hidden, indeed especially when they are hidden. The sculptures are made of out of steel, which like plant roots come from the earth and return to it upon decomposition.
I have installed my organic and natural sculptures of roots of various plants into the linear neutrality of The Katzen Outdoor Sculpture Garden of The American University Museum, with its high walls of gray concrete. The aim is to suggest tension and discrepancy between the delicacy of the root systems and the havoc they could bring upon the walls na dgrounds if they were the real thing.
Tanguy, Sarah. "Dalya Luttwak." Sculpture 29:4 (May 2010): 68-69.