The exhibition Shmini Azeret seeks to touch on the edges of the disaster that violated our physical and mental existence on the morning of Saturday, the seventh of October. We have lost the ability to comprehend the darkness that has overtaken us, and are left staring, helpless, at the sights repeating themselves before our very eyes.
31 photographic prints are featured along the horizonal line encircling the space, forming a conceptual axis. They make up one work by Deganit Berest, consisting of a 2012 poem by Polish poet Tadeusz Różewicz (1921–2014). A selection of works from the museum's collection is shown in the intervals between the prints.
Różewicz's poem unfolds an imaginary conversation between a son and his mother, centered on the ability to encapsulate and fathom the thing called life. Assigned an image each, the poem's words were taken from the Hebrew translation, as it appeared in the daily Haaretz, and were printed on the images. Most of them also contain parts of letters from adjacent words, hinting at their location in the poetic whole. The poem's vertical ladder-like structure was converted into a linear sequence in Berest's original work; one horizontal sentence of 31 words.
In the exhibition, the poetic and visual sequence was stretched into a long string, too long, in keeping with the time and the capacity to contain the horror, the pain, and the anticipation of what is to come. The sequence runs between Berest's word-image syntax and works which take their place in relation to the poem's words appearing next to them. The works were selected with attention to the present moment, perceiving the museum's Israeli art collection as an accumulation of symbolic and material evidence attesting to the place and the time.
Micha Bar-Am, Daniel Bauer, Deganit Berest, Pinchas Cohen Gan, Dorit Figovich Godard, Moshe Gershuni, Tamar Getter, Tsibi Geva, Michael Gross, Michal Heiman, Miki Kratsman, Naomi Leshem, Yizhak Livneh, Michal Na'aman , David Reeb, Elena Rotenberg, Hadas Satt, Elie Shamir, Henry Shelesnyak, Yohanan Simon, Aviva Uri
The exhibition supported by the Ruth and Bruce Rappaport Foundation