Neither Daphne nor Apollo – Zehava Edelsburg

Opening of exhibition Thursday 18/7/13 at 20:00

The works of Zehava Edelsburg deal with nature and culture, illustrating the dissonance between what happens in the natural kingdom and what occurs in human culture.

Human culture occurs alongside natural processes and is, I believe, largely the expression of the all too human desire to control and direct nature according to man’s understanding and feelings. Unlike man, nature essentially “knows” how to behave – regardless of man and his inability to understand how to behavein his encounter with nature. Zehava’s works invoke thoughts about different ways of relating to nature, which includes our relations to society, to other people and with ourselves.

Observing her work raises issues such as chaos, cycle and cyclicality, metamorphosis, dismantling and assembling.

Chaos is a positive phenomenon, as it entails re-organization. It occurs in nature as a part and parcel of the cycle of growth and recovery.

We experience cyclicality in natural processes on a daily basis. We are aware of it, but too often try to control various cycles, causing harm and disharmony.

Metamorphosis – the place where nature never stagnates, even for a moment, but constantly changes, constantly takes on new shapes and forms in order to function optimally – is not adopted by humans as a lifestyle. The option to change one’s opinions, thoughts and moods, to act contrary to the norm and thus escape stagnation and fixation, is not an obvious choice and often arouses opposition and contempt. Furthermore, strong and consistent opinions, rooted ideology and a desire for permanent and continuous peace and security are considered normative values ​​that should be aspired to.

Dismantling and assembling occur in nature all the time. We, humans, as part of nature, deal with it constantly. Each encounter we have with anything (matter, idea, emotion, experience, etc.) requires us to receive, dismantle and reassemble. But in most cases, we do so automatically,paying little attention to this process, operatingaccording to the same patterns that are socially acceptable and that we have become accustomed to.

Zehava’s sculptures show that there are other, fresh and challenging ways to receive, disassemble and reassemble. They suggest the adoption of those practices from the art world and the gallery hall into our lives and our relationship with nature.
Zehava presents works which seem to be supported by scaffolds. Thus, the process of building becomes an integral part of the work and the supports contribute to the creation of a new whole.

Monumentality characterizes Zehava’s previous works. These works demonstrate the human desire for control, and make us, the viewers, feel small and threatened. Her current works are more accessible to the viewer; they allow close and more intimate observation, a dialogue, a feeling of harmony and openness.

The sculptures in this installation were built of parts of a past work (Minhah,2005). The original sculpture fell apart and each one of its parts was cared for, grew, became more complex and turned into a statueof its own.

Avner Singer

Artist and curator

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