Project no.132

 

Silent Memories

 

Curator: Rachel Sukman


Participants:
Yael Oren, Irith Bloch, Avivit Ballas Baranes, Oded Ben Hefer, Lilach Bar-Ami, ,Arie Berkowitz,
Marina Gal, Ilana Hamawy, Nina Cabessa, Etty Lev, Ariane Littman, ,Orna Millo, Ronnie Setter, Nima Ktalav

Opening: Thurs. 08.12.2011 at 7:30 p.m.
Closing: 13.01.2012

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Our new address: 6 Zamenhoff St. (near Dizengoff Square), Tel Aviv, tel.: 03-5254191
Gallery hours: Mon.-Fri. 11 a.m.- 2 p.m., Mon.-Thurs. 5-7 p.m


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Arie Berkowitz
Untitled, 2011

acrylic on canvas, 70x87 cm

Irith Bloch
Secret 2, 2009

thread on paper, 6x7 cm

Avivit Ballas Baranes
Patzal Ė Tzalaph, 2011

mixed media on canvas, 50x60 cm

Lilach Bar-Ami
from the series Mt. Carmel, 2010

Chinese ink on paper, 50x70 cm

       

Nima Ktalav
Mimicry, 2011

mixed media, 4x25x32 cm

Marina Gal
Nostalgia, 2004

pigment print, 40x40 cm

Ariane Littman
Sea of Death, 2010

video, 9:19 min

Yael Oren
Untitled 1, 2009

oil on canvas, 40x40 cm

       

Oded Ben Hefer
Hidden Sights, 2011

digital print, 20x20 cm

Ilana Hamawy
The Bush and the Mountain #5, 2011

graphite on paper, 60x40 cm

Orna Millo
Memory Figures, 2009

pencil and graphite powder on paper, 35x25 cm

Nina Cabessa
Mother, 2009

c-print, 46x32 cm

       
   

Etty Lev
Memory in Jerusalem, 2011

oil on canvas, 30x60 cm

 

Ronnie Setter
Sunbather at Gordon Pool, 2011

mixed media, 19x62 cm

 
       

Silent Memories

"Nothing has changed the nature of man so much as the loss of silence."
- Max Picard1

In modern times, moments of silence are rare in human life; perhaps one ought to engross oneself in dreams which are a reality devoid of substance, reality which is not a reality, based on free interpretation, seeking an introduction to the quiet time of the occurrence of memories. Our thoughts are thus led ad absurdum. Perhaps one should consider silence as rare moments of grace, moments of love. The attempt to explain what love is touches upon an unreachable reality; a reality made of hidden strings whose exposure is akin to touching live electric wires.


What does it mean to talk about silent memories? Not memories physically, spiritually or metaphorically treasured in a box. The exhibition is based on the essence of silence and the difficulty in explaining and interpreting things, rather than on a totality of images, feelings and noises.


French philosopher Max Picard discusses the loss of silence which is now taken for granted, as something as natural as the existence of light. It is a dramatic change. "Man who has lost silence has not merely lost one human quality," he says, but a whole spectrum. In the past, silence stood between man and his ideas, between one thing and another. When a person arrived at a single idea, he would become immersed in it until that idea acquired substance. Thus, by virtue of the silence, the ideas were protected. Today, quiet transpires as silence, as reduction, as an inability, but there is no sadness for the silence long gone. The world of silence is now invisible. It must reappear to cure the noise between and within thoughts, ideas, and memories. Being, according to Picard, enables one to embrace silence as a primeval phenomenon.


Late Reflections

Completely in the dark, one day we find ourselves engaging in a thing whose nomenclature no longer matters. This may last one year or several, and we already know: it has no solution, but the engagement has gone beyond our control, although we are reluctant to admit it. We insist on consoling ourselves with the thought that we operate out of a creative force or some quest. Filled with yet undefined passion. The truth is that we do not know the truth. It is all speculation, assumption, theoretical conjecture, non-expendable witticism, unproven insights which blend together in the existential noise in which we live. We have difficulty translating theory into practice, concept into concrete work. One can never tell where the thought about an artwork begins. Initially, we let the confusion pass us; as time goes by, however, although we are not desperate, quandaries and doubts begin to emerge regarding the extent of the influence things have on our lives. Later we find ourselves involved in an ostensibly obscure struggle. This situation may be called fate. We look back in surprise and think, like Milan Kundera, that "life is elsewhere."


Reflections

When we think of memories, we imagine darkness. Sometimes, thoughts are tied with silences. If the two connect, there had better be complete darkness, utter gloom. The need to cling to images from the past belongs to our continuing life story. Each person, in a manner adapted to him/her alone, yearns for moments inscribed on a screen of fog. All is nothing. One may touch upon the gray, think that you fathom the essence of painting.


Memories

With a glass of pink Kir Royale, by a window overlooking runaways, planes are scattered like gleanings. Carl Gustav Jung's Memories, Dreams, Reflections lies close by. My casual gaze falls on a man holding a plastic bag; he embraces it as if his entire world were held inside, lest he forget or lose it.


Sometimes we ask ourselves: What portion of our lives do we dedicate to futile or purposeless thoughts What portion of the time allotted to us in this world do we devote to reminiscing? The incessant engagement with a troubling problem may take us years. Jung devoted his entire life to understanding the human psyche, primarily his own psyche.


According to Samuel Beckett: "Memories are killing. So you must not think of certain things, of those that are dear to
you, or rather you must think of them, for if you donít there is the danger of finding them, in your mind, little by little. That is to say,
you must think of them for a while, a good while, every day several times a day, until they sink forever in the mud. That's an order."2


Dreams

The space is overflowing with muffled voices and blurred lights penetrating through closed windows, reaching us already filtered, passing within me one by one. I count and identify them. Perhaps the longed for silence will arrive later. My life transpires between illusion and reality, between birth and death, between Kathleen Ferrier's divine voice singing Johannes Brahms's Liebeslieder-Walzer (Love Song Waltzes) Opp. 52, and Olaf Bär's baritone recounting Franz Schubert's Winterreise (Winter Journey).


It takes time to feel
It takes time to realize
It takes talent to know
To slowly touch upon things
Touch the words
The sounds
Relate to one's feelings.
The distant-near
bright and blurred nature
is a sign that life
is the distance between sanity and the lack thereof.


The theme of silence crosses the boundaries of the exhibition as a totality of works; it runs through the works, refines them, making for a personal reading of each artist and each work.


Rachel Sukman
Nimrod, November 2011


Notes

1. Max Picard, The World of Silence, trans. Stanley Godman (Chicago: H. Regnery, 1952), p. 221.

2. Samuel Beckett, "The Expelled," trans. Richard Seaver in collaboration with Samuel Beckett, in Stories and Texts for Nothing (New York: Grove Press, 1967), p. 7.