Tales + Textiles: Fall at The Laurie M. Tisch Gallery
Featuring two exhibits from Contemporary Art Center Ramle (CACR), curated by Dr. Smadar Sheffi. Opening Sep 7. The exhibit runs through December. Free and open to the public.
Unheimliche, Longing, and the Floor Rag
Artist: Nahed Abo Alhega Hamza
Curator: Dr. Smadar Sheffi
Artist Nahed Abo Alhega Hamza draws on domestic textiles (floor rags, curtains, sheets) associated with cleanliness and the intimacy of a physically and metaphorically cushioned space. A friendly home, the object of longing, embodying family memories, may become an arena for violence and threat, evoking what Freud termed unheimliche, the "uncanny."
Abo Alhega Hamza's works present an encounter between home as a safe place and a site of fear. The body of work exhibited evolved after the artist's mother passed away in 2019, sparking a re-reading of "home" and its components. Her intricate drawings signify our complicated relationships with objects and their symbolic meanings, corresponding with art and ideas from Dada to Surrealism to science fiction. Strong emotions, including pain and anxiety, flow into the large black and blue ink portrait, which is cut out and embroidered on red fabric. Comprising drawings of hands, architectural details, intertwined muscles, plants, bones, and flowing water, it has art historical associations to Arcimboldo and Georg Grosz, among others.
Works on handkerchiefs from her parents' wedding preserve the folds as a grid of memories, hopes, innocence, and promise, embodying movement, vulnerability, and vitality, with a streak of the uncanny emanating from her oeuvre.
Rifts, Joints, and Rifts
Artists: Anna Hayat + Slava Pirsky
Curator: Dr. Smadar Sheffi
Anna Hayat and Slava Pirsky's photographs are exquisite. Most are printed on fabric, hand-sewn, and embroidered. This is the first time that the duo is exhibiting sewn images that simultaneously join and break apart. They have an almost corporeal quality, the stitches seeming to throb with pain like a wounded body.
Time itself becomes matter, an additional element in the photographs which comprise past and present, its density evident in the works with flowers. Hayat and Pirsky distill clichéd images and objects, then reilluminate them in a continuous dialogue between photography and painting.
The discourse on time is a central motif of their works. The photographs are shot on a large format view camera using outdated Polaroid film, whose chemicals leave random stains on the image. Solarization creates further uncontrolled reactions; chance becomes part of their aesthetic. Hayat and Pirsky integrate these chance reactions with controlled, precise photography in the tradition of early 20th century American photography, which, when combined with the unexpected, is intriguing.
Sewing the photographs, a new process for Hayat and Pirsky, began after their encounter with kintsugi, the Japanese art of “golden repair” (of broken pottery) without concealing flaws. The works were made while the artists were closely following developments in the war in Ukraine, fearful for the lives of friends and relatives. The many rifts in the works demonstrate a sense of urgency and injury.
Banner Art Credit:
Burdocks | Anna Hayat + Slava Pirsky
Hold On Together | Nahed Abo Alhega Hamza
Gallery exhibits and programs are made possible with the generous support of the Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund. Additional support is provided by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council and the generosity of individual donors.