Indepth Arts News: |
"Art Now - Ori Gersht: Afterglow"
2002-05-25 until 2002-08-26
UK United Kingdom
Art Now is a programme of exhibitions that aims to promote discussion and awareness of
new art in Britain. For the latest exhibition in the series, Ori Gersht will present a new series
of photographs and his first video work. In both he explores the landscape and history of his
Journeys, both literal and metaphorical, are an important element of Ori Gersht's art and his
recent work has developed through a series of trips made to places of significant historical
interest to him. The photographs presented in this exhibition were taken in the Judea
desert, on the outskirts of Jerusalem. This land has been in dispute for thousands of years,
and is still the cause of continuing conflict. Yet in Gersht's photographs there is little
physical trace of the historic claims to this land - the only evidence of human life is a few tyre
tracks. It is this discrepancy between notions of the history of a place and its reality that
fascinates the artist.
The video was shot from the Jewish quarter of Nazaret looking down on the Arabic village
Iksal. The camera recorded half a second of footage every thirty seconds reducing a
shooting period of eight hours to eight minutes of film. Shot overnight, the urban scene is
unrecognisable, resembling a star constellation more than a cityscape. As the dawn
breaks, the city gradually emerges before disappearing again, as the image is bleached out
by the intensity of the rising sun.
Primarily known for his photography, Gersht received critical acclaim for his AfterWar
series, 1998, taken in Sarajevo, at the end of the war in Bosnia. Initially these photographs
simply look like formalist studies of brightly coloured modernist buildings, yet as the viewer
looks closely the scars inflicted by war become noticeable. His White Noise series, 2000,
consists of photographs taken during a visit to Poland in 1999 in the middle of winter. Shot
from the train on a journey between Krakow, Auschwitz and Belzec, these semi-abstract
images seem to capture the impossible – the passing of time.
Ori Gersht was born in Tel Aviv in 1967. He studied on the MA course at the Royal College of
Art, London between 1993 and 1995. Recent exhibitions include White Noise, Noga Gallery
of contemporary Art, Tel Aviv, and Galerie Martin Kudlek, Cologne, 2001; and Pitch,
Chisenhale Gallery, 2000. In May 2002, his work will be the subject of a major solo
exhibition at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, Israel. Gersht will be exhibiting his Mass Culture
series at the Andrew Mummery Gallery from 22 May - 22 June 2002, and later this year The
Knowledge Factory series will be exhibited in Reality Check, a touring exhibition
organised by The British Council and the Photographers' Gallery.