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Shadow of a Line Light of a Circle / Shiran Yitzhari, Shir Lusky, Grand Art Gallery, Haifa, Israel, 2017

Curator: Shirley Meshulam 

This exhibition, a collaborative work by emerging artists Yitzhari and Lusky, highlight the reciprocal relationship between plastic art and photography. The duo exhibits sculptures, objects, and photos, and investigates the tension between them. A photographed sculpture, a sculptured photograph, becoming a site-specific work for the gallery. 

Their work constructs a double dialogue. First, between the mediums; second, between the two artists. The idea to merge between medium, lead to creating photographs of objects, and to create a 3D scenario, made out of enlarged prints of photos, which function as an installation of an environment, and become independent sculptures as well, which one can circle from all sides. 

The photographs show “random spaces”, abandoned, small, wretched, and easy to miss. The duo found them interesting, and they collected them though wondering, into a private archive. In Yitzhari’s photo, “untitled”, a perpetuated random beam of light from her studio shed a different light on the object nearby in the exhibition. In Lusky’s photo, “seeing glass”, a mirror standing in the lobby of a residence building, creates a reflection, which resembles an opening, a door, in the wall. Lusky enlarged the photo, printing it twice, and mounted it twice on a Dibond plate, so it can be seen from both sides. In another work, Lusky found old tree branches and made them into ready-made sculptures, as well as a referent for her photographs. The tree branch was disconnected from its original surrounding, and became irrelevant and uprooted. 

Both artist deal with themes that juxtapose both photography and sculpture: interior/exterior, shadow/light, shape/substance/flatness. While Lusky’s work uses organic material, Yitzhari’s is attracted to material that is more industrial. They color the object black, to remove them from their original context, and play different roles in the photos and in the gallery space. They are also both occupied with methodology and byproducts. For example, Lusky placed rotting Kigelia Africana fruits in a pond of black PVC paint, trying to stop them from perishing. She calls it “the daily life poetics”. Her work evokes discussion regarding the limits of photography, the aesthetics of the abandoned, and refer to still-life. On the other hand, Yitzhari uses a performative act on the printing paper. In the work “filling space”, Yitzhari present the rubbed colorful printing paper. The work is a result of her interest in the materialism of photography, in this case, paper and emulsion. The result seems like an abstract photo of round shapes. “The material and the image interest me in an equal way”, she says. “I was often concerned with the question of what is more important for me, and if it is the act which exposes the image, or the image which could only exist because of the act”. She addresses the multiple options of techniques, papers, and creates negative and positive spaces. 

This exhibition invites the spectators to reflect on the question “what is photography”, and if there is an essence of photography, which is different from the one of sculpture. It evokes it through the way the duo “sees” and “fills” space. 

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