“Liminal” is the main title for a cluster of exhibitions on display at the Mishkan LeOmanut, Ein Harod (15th September – 30th November 2001)
Five women-artists are exhibiting works relating to maps, hidden borders and self-identity, personal and collective in a vexing and loaded social and political reality.
“Unrecognized” – Ahlam Shibli
Ahlam Shibli is exhibiting a series of photographs of the Arab al Na’im village, situated between Sahnin and Carmiel. It was only recently that the village received official recognition, however it still doesn’t appear on the map and its residents are denied basic facilities such as a pipe-connection to the local sewerage system, and linkage to the national electricity grid and water supply.
Ahalam Shibli describes her work on this topic as operating on two planes:
“The objective plane”, this is the unknown, and the “subjective plane”, the sense of home, life and the system of human relationships. The series of photographs opens with a general view of the village, a group of huts, dominated by the expansive vista, from horizon to horizon where the houses of Carmiel are seen. The series develops, moving from outside inwards, from landscape photographs, from dirt tracks along which the village children make their way to the distant school, to the inner spaces and the daily activity bearing a colorful attractive character.
Ahalam Shibli worked for four years as a social worker. Today she is completing her masters degree in cinematography, direction and production at the Tel Aviv University.
“Mapressions Loci” – Mirjam Bruck-Cohen
Mirjam Bruck-Cohen embroiders, knits and patches from building wire, wool, mesh screens and fabrics. Her point of departure stems from architectonic rural settlement plans, mainly Arab towns.
As a child Mirjam Bruck-Cohen experienced being torn from her home, being a refugee. This biographical context surfaces in her works, exposing bare nerves. She is aware of the pain of Israel’s Arab citizens, of the anguish of dual or denied identity and of the place where they are not manifested even in her view.
In her works Mirjam Bruck-Cohen sublimates the presence of an Arab town, a presence that is physical, cultural and political. She does this through her absorption with urban grid plans, not only of Arab towns but Jewish towns as well, such as Ashkelon, Tirat HaCarmel and Ir Havradim. She opens a dialogue after she discloses her point of origin as a refugee. She dispenses the agony of her identity, acknowledges the agony of their identity.
“Me, when passionately sitting, waiting for you” – Vered Nachmani
Vered Nachmani paints large dimensional paintings of landscapes concealed from view. In one painting a courtyard is seen through a bamboo fence, in another a village scene is observed through a barbed-wire fence.
Vered Nachmani comes to terms with spaces in memory and consciousness.
For her, painting is a reflexive activity, it is an active and loaded site for tracing through it and by it, on the painting and the signs of memory and forgetfulness.
Vered Nachmani describes her works: ” The series consists of four parts: “Erotica”, “Territory”, ” When Death plunges into Life” and “Me”. All of them together describe the courtyard of my house in almost real proportional dimensions. The scenes/ the landscape – like a map of the heart: Wall/dense/green/alive/complex/hard/abstract/changing…”
“White Land” – Ariane Litman-Cohen
Ariane Litman-Cohen creates tiles from “ready-made” aerial photographs, as if they were tiles covering areas of a wall in a home. However the aerial photographs are incomplete and so the continuity contains missing spaces: from the photographs mapping Israel, areas considered to be of strategic importance, have been erased by order of the military censor and now they appear on the photograph square as geometric or organic stains, as white as snow.
The point of departure for the exhibition is the forest, which Litman-Cohen calls the forbidden forest, a forest donated to the J.N.F by the family in 1967, and which at some unknown date became a military camp. The site was erased from every map or photograph and it became physically impossible to enter it.
The exhibition’s title “White Land”, rings like “White City”, new and utopian,
Burdened with troublesome areas unexposed to the eye.
“Circles” – Yael Elboim
Yael Elboim, was born in Nahalal (the granddaughter of MK Ya’akov Uri)
In her work she focuses on circles, an exemplary utopian form, which she fashions. The works are made of bandages that are frayed and worn thin leaving only a fine mesh of fibers. From these fine fabrics whose edges have frayed, Yael Elboim creates fragile circular cuts, like a wreath of leaves or flowers lain on the ground or hung on a wall, like a funeral wreath or the contrary, a victory wreath.
By means of “Circles” the artist relates to the same ideal of perfection, which was part of her family biography, to its collapse, to the complexity of transfiguration at the level of the individual and the community.
Curator: Galia Bar Or