Home Is Where
in collaboration with Sébastien, Zoe and Clara Worsnip

Whether working alone or with invited family members, Rachel Echenberg’s practice is a poetic yet tense exploration of the space she occupies, shares and negotiates. Her work reflects on her shifting connection to and isolation from others, broaching the inherent instability of domestic and social relationships.
The home, a ripe and recurring theme in Echenberg’s work, is an elastic and porous space. Constantly reshaped by the actions of those bound to it, the home expands, contracts, holds and releases over time. This movement is not without tension.
Echenberg’s performances are similarly built on tense but subtle transformations. As common yet fragile materials such as paper or glass are manipulated, pressure very quietly builds and releases, at times to the point of destruction. Objects therefore become compelling metaphors for the more difficult to represent notion of home, and the relationships that inhabit it. Executed with casualness and simplicity, Echenberg’s artistic vocabulary avoids the saccharine romanticism and overt drama one might expect from artwork addressing such intimate themes. The home she constructs reveals its bonds and fissures in fragments, via glimpses through curtained windows and whispers through cracks in the walls. So, despite the acute precision of her actions, the narrative is deciphered gradually over time. As such, Echenberg’s evocative work is an invitation to pause, and softly reflect on the complex relationships we both depend on and strive to escape.

Houses that Hold, Homes That Let Go, by Michelle Lacombe

CIRCA Art Actuel, Montreal, Quebec, 2016

Photos: Paul Litherland

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