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Lost & Found - The Exhibition (27.11.08)

 

 


“The object – that is what we mourn; it shows us our own death, but symbolically, we overcome death by possession of the object.” So wrote Jean Baudrillard.

We live in a time of single-use objects. The implication is that by constantly renewing the objects surrounding us, we forget death. Or simply – we forget. Virtually the sole escape from this state of affairs is to transform the object into an art-work, i.e. something special, unique, eternal.

The object exhibited takes the place of its owner, thereby acquiring its own features, character and history. Nowadays, a museum of modern art recalls above all a bargain basement; in another thousand years it could be converted into an ethnographic or archeological museum. It is precisely this challenge to amnesia at every level – from the universal-cultural to the personal – that engages the attention of the artists whose works are on display in this exhibition: Michael Yakhilevich, Julia Segal, Haim Sokol and Nadia Adina Rose.

Julia Segal creates metonymic portraits: objects substitute for individuals – an old coat, a wheel chair, a children’s table. But her objects are not persons (or, to be precise, they are anthropomorphic to a degree, the way a dilapidated article recreates the form of its owner). Segal reconstructs in minute detail all kinds of objects, thereby ostensibly restoring them to herself from the passage of time. But the objects are alien. And if, as already noted, an object belonging to you allows for a symbolic overcoming of death, an alien object stresses in oppressive measure the presence of the end. In this manner the artist exposes the vacuum created in time and space with the departure of anyone.

“Throughout his lifetime, a person is surrounded by simple objects; they lead him, help him, often live on after his demise. Objects preserve his memory, the warmth of his body, the touch of his hands …”

Nadia Adina Rose builds wall installations out of fragments of paintings that also contain an element of sculpture or bas-relief. The works exist in the domain between figurative and abstract, embracing shreds and slivers of memory at their different levels. Her works deal with emotional cultural materials relating to the motif of time. They are built up of numerous layers, rich in materials, and generally undergo a prolonged process of refinement.

“A painting begins with visual sighting and a stirring of the heart. Layer upon layer, they crowd together, associations, sensations and memories, until the painting explodes into fragments. These disjointed images create new images that demand and receive a new place within the expanse. In this process, personal experience is transformed into an icon, into a broader and more general concept, and the work takes on a different dimension. The interior emerges, the external is drawn inwards and the horizon remains remote, beyond reach.”

Characteristic of the work of Michael Yakhilevich is that, alongside individual paintings, he also paints numerous composite works such as diptyches, triptyches and poly-ptyches comprising four or seven pictures. Such compositions facilitate exhibition of the discretion  and the multi-dimensional and multi-faceted nature of Creation, and the uniformity of the new culture. The artist gathers dissociated fragments, collates them like cubes in a child’s game, in an effort to achieve a complete picture of the world. In his series “After 40  years” Yakhilevich employs his own childhood creations as elements of a polyptych,  joining them up with his work of recent years in a plastic, narrative manner. In this fashion, the artist confronts a child’s view of the world with that of an adult, thereby injecting into his work the time dimension.

“The childish dictates the rules of fairness, endowing courage and openness; whereas the adult evaluates, introduces irony, sets up milestones. The dream of a journey is realized by a departure without any limits of time; the adult is incapable of swimming across the lakes the child’s eyes saw.”

Haim Sokol works with material that has lost memory. He transmutes into metal ancient scrolls, folding planes from iron, as though this were not iron but rather, pages ripped from a notebook; writing and bundling up rusty letters. Sokol paints on rusting metal plates faces that are not the fruit of his fantasy; rather, they have been copied from somewhere. These pictures have few prospects of preservation in their renewed form; the memory of metal is no more lasting or trustworthy than human memory, but the process of disintegration can be seen in all its beauty.

“I invent my past. Memory blends with imagination. As proof, I exhibit various objects and old photographs, toys, an alarm clock etc.  But I do not create them, nor restore. I recall them.  I create memories.”

Dangerous plays of memory. Memory helps us to imbibe reality, but also determines how it shall appear. Conversely, loss of memory leads to loss of self. That is why the artists are willing to take the risk.


Michael Yakhilevich

   

           

       


Julia Segal

                       

               

              

       


Nadia Adina Rose

               

           

           


Haim Sokol

           

       

 

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