Karen Baldner

Open My /Your Wound, 2007
One sheet book, Maze structure, Digital image and text, Printed on card stock paper with wrap-around cover and slipcase of handmade paper with hair inclusions, 12 pages, .5 x 2 x 2.5 inches, Number 1 of edition of 10.
$190

Statement

pushmepullyoufrom “The Jewish/German Dialogue Project”
by Karen Baldner and Björn Krondorfer. The book was originally made for the exhibit “Suendenbock” (scapegoat) staged by the Jewish artist group Meshulash in the context of the Jewish Cultural Week (Juedische Kulturtage) in Berlin (September 2007) at the Centrum Judaicum. As we wrestled with the subject of scapegoating we realized that stereotyping each other as “German” or “Jew” was not only an issue for our parent’s generation but that we, too, held vestiges of such images and feelings. Those images unfold in the pages of this book, moving simultaneously from both ends of the book and meeting in the center.

Open My /Your Wound
This book is about the process of healing by becoming vulnerable. The specific healing process here is between the perpetrator and the victim of the Holocaust; but any process of healing can be inserted. Joseph Beuys is the inspiring force with his 1974 Munich installation “Zeige Deine Wunde” (Show Your Wound)

Biography

Karen Baldner grew up in West Germany in a Jewish family which was persecuted by Nazi Germany. The haunted climate of Germany after the Holocaust became a pivotal experience and narrative for her work. Other influences were her publisher family and the literary/musical world she grew up with; the experience of the written word as both powerful and slippery. Of inspiration were also the work and life of Joseph Beuys, the pioneering work of book artist Keith Smith, the sculptor/papermaker Winnifred Lutz, and the shifts of thinking in the 1960′s. Although Germany remains a personal and professional destination, living in the US has become an important emotional buffer. Karen moved to the US to complete her formal studies with a Masters Degree in Printmaking and she still lives and works in the Midwest. She teaches Book Arts and Drawing at Herron School of Art & Design at Indiana University in Indianapolis . Karen’s work has been supported by Fulbright and NEA Grants as well as state grants from Arkansas and Indiana. She shows extensively throughout the US and Europe and her work is in a number of public and private collections in the US, Canada and Germany.

Karen Baldner website