In the framework of the Venice Art Biennale 2017, Ariela Wertheimer is presenting an exciting exhibition in Palazza Mora of illuminated art works using a combination of techniques dealing with the depths of all of our souls.
The exhibition presents works of light boxes in a variety of colours and shades and a chandelier in the centre of the space – all of which are lit up with interior lighting.
The light boxes are made from metal and are a combination of acrylic painting on wood panels with photographic transparencies on plexiglass and LED lighting inside.
Opening night: 11th May, 16:00, Free Entrance.
The Exhibition is open from 11th may – 31st october. You are welcome.
The space of the exhibition consists of a wall of light boxes with figures from Old Jaffa in Israel and on the wall adjacent to them are figures from Venice – both from ancient port towns. The mutual relations between them consist of each having their own characters, stories, and the metals and footprints of an ancient port. Each figure represents one of us, each figure and their story, each figure and their own shape and colour.
Along with a light box 3 meters wide on a whole wall is homage to Leonardo Da Vinci’s Last Supper. In one box are 12 colourful characters sitting down for a modern day meal. They are not there for the meal but to spread the teachings of their bible, and their bible is the new religion, and the new religion is the social network, and the holy book is the “Smartphone”. Shoot and upload in an instant.
In the centre of the room is the chandelier representing the delicate structure of a couple’s relationship – marriage and life together as a couple. On the chandelier, is a painting of a man and a woman on panels hanging from the top and then the sacred words written, “For you are being sanctified to me” in Hebrew. In the centre of the chandelier, hanging on a thin thread are broken pieces of glass representing the fragility of the delicate marital structure which can be shattered at any moment. The lighting comes from above and smashes against the glass fragments scattering in all directions in an amazing array of lights.
Jaffa – Venice
Wall facing opposite wall. Jaffa light boxes facing Venetian light boxes. Jaffa figures facing Venetian figures.
Venice and Jaffa, two ancient port cities. Venice in Italy and Jaffa in Israel are gates from the outside world in. Each one was occupied not once and drowned in blood, far away scents and an array of colors from distant foreign civilizations covering the cities with a layer of makeup. In these cities, the waves of the sea have grazed over the city over long periods of time laying cracks of rust on the metal infrastructure established by mankind. All the human tracks carry with them personal stories of beginning and ends of joy and pain, sickness and recovery. These stories together form a unified world where power is measured in human frailty and strength all at the same time no matter where you are.
The Last Supper
The Last Supper? 12 figures painted on plywood and illuminated in a box filled with light – each figure has a personal and private story of their own but what is the common agenda of the day?
A group of young people enter a restaurant. They order, and immediately begin engaging with their mobile phones. The food arrives. Each person begins photographing their meal. The photographs are uploaded to social media with a specific text and headline… all of life and its experiences are staged and scripted. With the first bite, the comments begin to arrive “Like” or “Dislike”, and what about the young people in the group? They look on, into their phones, ravenous for the abundance of reactions to their upload. Everyone has something to say. All of the opinions are strong ones, accompanied by judgment and a public hanging in the Facebook communal square.
It is not only the younger generation, but all of us that live with a sense of sharing, exposure and social anxiety. Their lives and deeds judged and condemned minute by minute with a swipe of a finger, on a universal scale of morality in black and white, yes and no. That’s it. No shades of colors and with no time to think.
After observing stories, I chose to focus specifically on the institute of marriage. I built a piece focusing on this topic. At the center of the room I hung a chandelier on which there are painted images of a man and a woman as a tribute to marriage, which at its core has an intense passion for an unattainable unity. The spaces in the piece represent the marital structure, emotional escape hatches opposite imprisoned warmth. A game between what exists and what is missing.
A man and woman are united in a ring that embraces, connects, and sometimes suffocates… the couple are lit, as the shadows and light are used as the shell as well as the content, strength versus weakness, Adam and Eve, life and death.
“Harei At Mekudeshet Li” -“For you are sanctified unto me”, the quote stated at the altar during the wedding ceremony, bringing the relationship to a higher level of holiness. At the center of the chandelier hang fragments of glass symbolizing the shattered glass cup which is broken under the wedding canopy. The fragile and perishable are positioned against what is being built and strengthened. In the evolution of becoming “I” to “Us” there are changes which are demanded which are extremely fragile.
How much wisdom is required of us in order to properly conduct ourselves and not just love one another?
Patience and mutual respect, friendship and partnership are all needed. The passing of time takes its toll on each of us and on the relationship, so that it is crucial to remember that nothing should ever be taken for granted.