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Eden Turned on Its Side

Photographs by Meridel Rubenstein

Over the course of her career, internationally renowned artist and University of New Mexico alumna Meridel Rubenstein creates photographic artworks that engage the natural world and investigate humanity’s place within nature.

Eden Turned on Its Side looks at ecological and human processes across time that either reinforce or destroy the notion of “Eden.” Focusing on poetic intersections of nature and culture in relation to ecological and social imbalance, the work consists of large-scale photographic images that tend toward immersive installation, as is characteristic of much of Rubenstein’s art. It comprises three parts— Photosynthesis, Volcano Cycle, and Eden in Iraq—which respectively explore ecologies on the scales of human time, geological time, and mythical time.

Eden Turned on Its Side will accompany an exhibition of the same name, organized by the University of New Mexico Art Museum and opening in February 2018.


Meridel Rubenstein is a visiting associate professor in the School of Art, Design, and Media at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore. With an extensive career since the 1970s, her exhibitions and collections have included the Louvre, the Museum of Contemporary Photography in Chicago, and the National Museum of American Art, among others. She is the author of Belonging: From Los Alamos to Vietnam, Photoworks and Installations. She lives and maintains a studio in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Published By University of New Mexico Art Museum

10 x 12 in. 120 pages 80 color photos