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Light of Memory. Simcha Shirman.

    April 2009    

Opening of the solo exhibition “Light of Memory“ at Artneuland on April 29th 2009 at 7pm

Artneuland is a home for Trialogues of image, word, and people, an artistic platform for the three monotheistic cultures. The exhibition will be opened until June 18th 2009.

Thirty black & white photographs of Simcha Shirman are presented in this exhibition "Light of Memory". These images describe a journey into places where Shirman takes photographs; places which appear as images under an immersed gaze, wondering, investigating, remembering and dreaming gaze.

Poland - the birth place of his parents; Germany - his own birth place; Acre - the place he lived in during his childhood and youth; Tel Aviv - the place he lives in today with his family, and his studio - "the garden surrounded by a wall" - as he states.

Those places, according to Shirman, are a crossbreeding among reality, history, idea, dream, and memory.

Shirman compares the light to a place and the light, which, by nature, emerges each time from one place to another, though it seems dark, flashes questions on its existence and on its ability to burn, erase, blacken, freeze and remember. It seems as if the images teach the straight-forward observers a kind of modesty, allowing the viewer to see the limits and the limitation of transmission (tradition). Two worlds of tradition are integrated - the tradition of "one-time" and the tradition of "reproduction".

While contemplating Shirman's photographs, one has to come closer in order to hear, as if an acoustic space opened beside the visual space. Shirman's journeys into his questions of existence as an Israeli pass through Poland, Germarny, forests and hunters' towers which he photographed during a train journey from Munich to Auschwitz, pose the question of territory, concentration camps present the question of how an innocent landscape becomes a death field, his childhood memories of Acre, a city of fragile co-existence of the three monotheistic cultures - Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, guarding tours in military camps, loudspeakers on the beach as a method of controlling the sea, and portraits of women taken in his studio.

The works that have been printed especially for this exhibition expose part of a many years process. In this process, Shirman has been observing places and landscapes that have molded his space of identities, to his words, "protecting the memory of light".

The exhibition will be opened until June 18th 2009.


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Simcha Shirman
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