Wende Museum “Rinsing the Bones”

The Wende Museum’s Russian-Speaking Jewry Project features a growing collection of dissident publications as well as offering programming engaging with the history of Soviet Jews and the Russian-speaking Jewish diaspora. Los Angeles-based artist Jenny Yurshansky is part of this diaspora. Her interactive, community-based project Rinsing the Bones welcomes people of all ages and backgrounds to share their stories and connect with their heritages.

Yurshansky seeks to create an unstable living archive that reveals how institutional history often overlooks individual stories, leaving out the rich details of personal experience. The project’s title comes from a Russian phrase referring to an ancient ritual that involved exhuming the deceased, ritually cleansing their bones, and recounting their life story to release their soul.

As an exploration of memory and identity, Yurshansky invites the public to bring a small family heirloom to the Wende Museum and share its story through a brief interview. Each object will be 3D-scanned and replicated in bone-like material, while portions of the recorded interviews will be engraved onto X-ray film, akin to the “bone records” that were used to share forbidden music in the Soviet Union.

The results will be on display in Yurshansky’s upcoming exhibition at the 18th Street Arts Center, which opens on July 8th.

By participating in Rinsing the Bones, you can help shine a light on the unspoken histories and collective memories that shape our lives, while honoring the individual experiences of your family members.

To join in this rare opportunity to contribute to a living archive and share your family’s legacy, reserve a time slot here or simply walk in during one of the five weekend sessions hosted at the Wende Museum over the next two months.

To sign up for a time to participate in the project, or just find out more,  go to https://wendemuseum.org/program/rinsing-the-bones-with-jenny-yurshansky/

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