Tuesday, January 27, 2009

NATURE MORTE - a group exhibition

OPENING: February 6th, 2009
Artist Reception to be held at noon

CLOSING: March 6th, 2009

Shlomo Lee Abrahmov

Ronit Shani

Pesi Girsch

Dganit Berest

Boaz Tal

Still Life?
Photographic Exhibition
An Exhibition Background
Dr. Shlomo Abrahmov ©2008

Historically 'still lifes' were one of the first subjects that photography dealt with. From the earliest photographs of Daguerre, to the stunning still lifes of Roger Fenton or the exact arrangements by Le Secq, these images showed us how photographs can 'speak' in a fashion that goes beyond their so called banal and mechanical origins. If we observe Fenton's 'Still Life with Statue, 1860' or 'Tankard and Fruit, 1860', we can perceive that these photographs are not only about successful compositional arrangements or exquisite visual details. Their significance lies in their ability to be a mirror and act as signifiers for the society and culture in which they were created.

It could be argued that the aim of still life in art is to penetrate and subvert the surfaces or physical appearances of the objects which they portray. By this act, still life could create a philosophical and even a metaphysical discourse with reality. Fitting examples are Cezanne's 'still lifes' or Zurbaran's Still-life with Lemons, Oranges and Rose, 1633. Another duality that could be observed in Fenton's still lifes is the interaction of organic and non-organic objects. Objects that are created by nature (i.e. exotic fruits) and those that are man made. In its more abstract level, this interaction alludes to the interaction between nature and culture and it is still a theme that has much relevance in contemporary society.

The aim of this exhibition is to explore earlier themes of still life in art and photography in contemporary contexts or offer arrangements of objects that are stylistically similar to traditional still life. In addition, the exhibition aims to propose a dialogue on photography's ability to address issues that are beyond political scenarios and to present situations in which there are transformations of the photographs' referents. This is the photographic phenomenon of spacing (or as this writer termed it in Hebrew - Mirchov).

It is evident, for example, in Boaz Tal 'The Love of Three Oranges, 1992' and it forces the
viewer to construct his own narrative or speculative meaning. In this manner the presence of spacing acts as a catalyst for the viewer's involvement with the photograph. It is much more personal in scope and can remind us of photography's ability to be more like poetry than just an elaborate descriptive writing. This is the over-riding concern of the exhibition as to demonstrate how photographs can subvert the ordinary objects of their origin into a sublime discourse on reality, the surrounding culture and or as an inner dialogue of their creators with their personal environments.

התערוכה מבקשת לבחון את תוקפם של תיאורי טבע דומם מסורתיים, דרך פריזמה עכשווית. היא בוחנת את היכולת של צילומי טבע דומם, לעסוק בנושאים שהם מעבר לשיח הפוליטי והיום יומי, ולייצר סיטואציות שהן בבחינת התמרה של המציאות המתוארת ויצירת "מירחוב" אשר משתקף בתודעתו ועולמו של הצופה.
במבט היסטורי, ייצוגי טבע דומם היו לאחד מן הנושאים הראשונים שמדיום הצילום עסק בו. ממבט בעבודותיו של רוג'ר פנטון 1819-1869, אנו יכולים להסיק שעבודותיו אינן מתבססות רק על בניית קומפוזיציה אנינה, אלא שמשמעותן וחשיבותן עולה מתוך היכולת שלהן לשמש כמראה חברתית / תרבותית לתקופה בה נוצרו.
התערוכה מציגה אופן בו צילום טבע דומם יכול לחתור תחת האובייקט והייצוג החזותי ולייצר שיח מורכב אודות המציאות על רבדיה החברתיים והתרבותיים, כמו גם לדיאלוג בין היוצרים לבין סביבתם.