Artist in Residence 2015, Christine Suarez
But Ruth replied, “Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the LORD deal with me, be it ever so severely, if even death separates you and me.”
June 22, 2015
Since my last post I’ve made headway on a couple of fronts. I am thrilled to share that I will be the Studio Artist-in-Residence at 1450 Ocean through the City of Santa Monica Cultural Affairs Division. From July 13-August 31, I will have free access to a studio to further incubate this project. The studio has gorgeous views of the Pacific Ocean and is blocks from my home! I can’t wait! At the end of the residency we will offer an informal showing of the work to the public.
I have also begun rehearsals with my two collaborators: dance artists, Carol McDowell and Rebeca Hernandez. We started with reading and discussing the Book of Ruth together. We have been uncovering a lot of scholarship around the Book of Ruth. Here is an excerpt from some of research that we find particularly fascinating:
“In scene one (1:1–22) Ruth emerges in tension with her culture. She marries outside her own people, disavows the solidarity of her family, abandons her national identity, and renounces her religious affiliation. In the entire biblical epic of Israel, only Abraham approaches this radicalness, but then he had a call from God (Gen, 12:1–3) and also a wife. Ruth stands alone, without support human or divine. Moreover, she reverses sexual allegiance. A young woman commits herself to an old woman in a world where life depends upon men.”
By Phyllis Trible (http://jwa.org/encyclopedia/article/ruth-bible)
We are also finding much inspiration from paintings of this story. This video is a sketch of material that we’ve created using about a dozen paintings of Naomi and Ruth. We are discovering this entry point to be rich. It is becoming clear that this project is about relationships: Ruth and Naomi’s relationship, their relationship with God, and their relationships to their nation, culture and religion.
More soon! And please if you have any thoughts or responses, I welcome them! Email me at [email protected]
Follow the development of Christine’s project by reading this in addition to her first and third posts as a 2015 Artist in Residence.
All materials are copyrighted by the artist and used here by permission.