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"Ori Gersht Time After Time"
2007-10-10 until 2007-11-10
Mummery + Schnelle Gallery
UK United Kingdom
Mummery + Schnelle is pleased to announce an exhibition of a new body of work by Ori Gersht entitled Time after Time. In this series of photographs and films, Gersht explores questions concerning optical perception, the conception of time and the relationships between the photographic image and objective reality.
The exhibition will focus on a group of newly completed large-scale photographs entitled Blow Up. These depict elaborate floral arrangements, based upon a 19th Century still-life painting by Henri Fantin-Latour, captured in the moment of exploding. Gersht´s compositions are literally frozen in motion, a process dependent on the ability of the advanced technology of photography to freeze-frame action, something inconceivable to the Old Masters. This visual occurrence, that is too fast for the human eye to process and can only be perceived with the aid of photography, is what Walter Benjamin called the ‘optical unconsciousness’ in his seminal essay ‘A Short History of Photography’.
The latest digital technology has enabled Gersht to create contemporary versions of frozen life, bringing the concerns of Fantin-Latour and other still-life masters into a contemporary context. His photographs echo the appearance of oil paintings and allude to the inherent shadow of death and decay hanging over traditional still-life and vanitas painting. Yet they are distanced from them due to the instantaneous digital process employed, which captures each shattering still-life at a speed of 1/6000 of a second and stores the information immaterially as data on a hard drive until each is fabricated as a Light Jet print, returning the image to the material realm of two-dimensional artworks.
Flowers, which often symbolise peace, become victims of brutal terror, revealing an uneasy beauty in destruction. This tension that exists between violence and beauty, destruction and creation is enhanced by the fruitful collision of the age-old need to capture “reality” and the potential of photography to question what that actually means. The authority of photography in relation to objective truth has been shattered, but new possibilities to experience reality in a more complex and challenging manner have arisen.
Ori Gersht was born in Tel Aviv in 1967 and studied at the Royal College of Art in London. He has exhibited internationally since 1999. Solo exhibitions include ‘Afterglow’ at the Art Now room at Tate Britain, an expanded version of the same exhibition at the Helena Rubenstein Pavilion for Contemporary Art, Tel Aviv Museum, both in 2002 and ‘The Clearing’ at the Photographers’ Gallery, London in 2005/06. Recent Group exhibitions include ‘In Focus: Living History’ at Tate Modern in 2007, ‘Twilight: Photography in the Magic Hour’ at the Victoria & Albert Museum London and ‘Inside-Out, Contemporary Artists from Israel’ at MARCO, Vigo, Spain both in 2006.
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