Erik Ruin

Letter From Isolation

Erik Ruin

Letter From Isolation



Edition Size







Artist Book


24 × 18 × 1 in




Philadelphia, PA

$ 3,500.00


View Collectors

Bainbridge Island Museum of Art

Bayerische Staatsbibliothek

Minneapolis Institute of Art

University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB)

University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC)

University of Central Florida (UCF)

This is the last available copy in the edition.
Letter From Isolation is an artist’s book inspired by the West German revolutionary and journalist Ulrike Meinhof’s “Letter from a Prisoner in the Isolation Wing, June 16, 1972, to February 9, 1973” – written while the former journalist and revolutionary was being held in the dead wing/silent section of the Cologne-Ossendorf prison. As a series of paper-cut figures and hand-written texts spill across its accordion-folded pages, it asks us to consider pressing questions of how language constructs identity, how a self survives in the absence of collectivity, and what we are willing to give over to something greater.
Ruin describes the importance of the collaboration with dancer Amina Chremos in the process of making the book as follows:

“I asked my friend the dancer Asimina Chremos to model for the book. I read the Meinhof text aloud line by line while she improvised movements in response, and I took photos. I then used those photos to create papercuts that would be the basis/matrix for the screenprints. I purposely chose not to retain/record which poses accompanied which phrases, but resequenced/remixed the images in an intuitive manner to create the final book.”

The book was screen-printed and assembled by Erik Ruin at BYO Print in Philadelphia, with assistance from Alice Wang, over the spring and summer of 2019.
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