© 2015 Caitlin Rueter

Kinship and Other Fictions

In Kinship and Other Fictions Rueter plays with the curious dynamic between art/artefact and history/fiction through the lens of a family history. She does this by combining historical portraits of family members who become, in Rueter’s reimagining, characters in a fanciful tale.

The artwork uses digital reproductions of paintings and drawings depicting members of her family produced by Dutch and Canadian artists working during the 19th and 20th centuries.* The artworks and their frames are photographed separately, digitally adjusted, printed, and then cut apart and reassembled. Rueter takes those reassembled portraits and combines them with tapestries derived from her clothing, which are also photographed, digitally manipulated, and reproduced in large-format prints. Hanging beside the portraits are the reconstructed histories of their subjects. In those stories, part of an ongoing narrative which appears here in disembodied form, Rueter blends oral histories and material sourced from the public record with her own fictions.

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* The source material includes the following works: William Kurelek, Gustav Rueter, c. 1959, coloured pencil on wood panel, 12” x 17”; Wilhelm Christian Georg Rueter, Willemina Rueter (née Broer), 1936, conté on paper, 14” x 16”; Willem Hofker, Maria Hofker-Rueter (study in green silk), c. 1946, oil on canvas, 28 ½” x 36 ½”; and Wilhelm Christian Georg Rueter, Christiaan Rueter, c. 1910, oil on canvas, 23 ½” x 27 ½”.