Photographer: Oscar Abosh
You are Hereby Permitted
Elad Larom, Moshe Gershon
January 31 – February 28, 2013
“A man lives with a woman for two years in a flat
With improvised furniture and ancient fear, without tiding,
A man lives with a woman in a rented flat
And loves her, and she him, he said she said,
The whole thing began somehow last year,
When it was wonderful, then suddenly began to turn sour,
There are no clouds in the sky, and no God in the ceiling…”
(David Avidan, Behold you are permitted to any man.)
Avidan’s poem speaks about alienation and loneliness within the conjugal setting. The theme of alienation accompanies the woman’s image in the exhibition of Elad Larom and Moshe Gershon. Instead of experiencing the existence of the Other, particularly a woman, we define their physical being. The works express the impotence and limitation of intimacy, due to this external acquaintanceship. In Larom’s and Gershon’s works, as in Avidan’s poem, fear bursts forth from beneath the surface, as a natural reaction to alienated life in a meaningless and purposeless world. “There are no clouds in the sky, and no God in the ceiling”, Avidan writes, and this exhibition brings to the surface the question, How is it possible to nourish and preserve authentic relations within social frameworks that suffer from a multitude of inauthentic relations, power struggles that are reinforced by the profits they yield in a selfish and sometimes even cynical fashion. These profits are also yielded from the excess of images presented, that have penetrated into all areas of life.
By contrast, the images in the exhibition act as a voice that increases the ability of art to communicate aspects of reality that cannot be verbalized, and to present its complex dimensions that cannot be labeled. The feminine image changes its form: she attracts and rejects, is cynical about the very process of tempting, and “plays” with definitions of the ‘crudeness’ of femininity. The works use different languages and different ranges on one surface. They swing the viewer back and forth in his attempts to identify with the paintings and understand them, or mutatis mutandis, to see them as acts of ridicule, that carry an absurd message. In one of Elad Larom’s paintings a woman carries a weapon, in another, a woman is placed between two shadows of men, as one who is responsible for the storing of forbidden desires, but she actually remains alone. In the series of works Talking with Gods, long after the weakening of traditional religious beliefs and the absolute truths of the Modern Era, and due to the current thirst for new gods – the feelings of disappointment are made extreme in the image of the monk or of the praying woman, or in the image of the prophet in the video art.
In the works of Moshe Gershon, intensive picturesque environments are seen, filled with emotions and expressive colorfulness, in which the feminine image or objects are presented. They tempt the eye to remain within them, but even so, the image, the objects and the observer as well are left to themselves: the woman or the objects in the painting are self absorbed and separated, so that they ‘are incapable’ of mixing or of ‘communicating’ with their environs.
The artists examine the experience of alienation, and try to re-sketch the relation between alienation and harmony: the works reflect the negative basis in the reality presented, but nevertheless a desire for wholeness is revealed. The experience of alienation is re-deciphered, revealing within it negative and positive, separation and harmony. The very attempt to elucidate this experience through art creates a glimmer of hope.
Yham Hameiri, February 2013