The Lock Hole
The door is open. It faces its thin side towards us, that plane designed to be swallowed into the wall. With a backwards step, the protruding key sparkles; becoming instilled with dimension and personality, the door is photographed.
In the past, locks had holes through which people could peak. Today, locks no longer bear these holes; yet, were they to, phone cameras would immediately penetrate them. Peeking through such a hole reveals a world beyond our physical space, disconnecting the body, and projecting its own signals for reading and imagining what is uniquely bound by a single channel. Just as with a camera, the world flattens into a plane in which we discover a place that is over there, on the other side.
There, above the armchair, a flat cable lies tightly against the wall. Pulling it will open the shutter upwards. The tension of that faded-color cable stems from holding the weight of the shutter. The sudden noise of pulling would allure the elliptical apertures that spin on the wall facing the field that blinds my eye just before sunset.
A Second First Gaze
As the shutter rises, the window is revealed; there I encounter the outside – the world. Or so I tell myself. And since I encounter it from behind closed doors, I wonder about the attributes of this confined gaze.
I encounter the window’s opening inside the rip. Beginning to form general impressions of color, a few lines strum appearances on my imagination: it’s outside, a landscape, urban, inside a window, city residences in Israel. My eye runs and returns across the image in my imagination, yet differently – according to a different hue, running between the eye and the imagination. This second hue rips my continuous familiarity between the two, it appears at the same time on the same plane.
I position myself before a picture whose contents I cannot successfully decipher. What has been photographed here? Positioned before a photographed object that seems so familiar to me, I am unable to name it. It’s as if I once stood in such close proximity, but perhaps not. Whatever it “is” slips away from me as it continually demands that I identify it, that I ask what it is or what it was.
When I think about photography (especially about analog photography) I don’t need to be reminded of its being derived from reality and from the past, I know and feel this fact: it photographs what lies before it and I am able to identify the world that was within it. When I don’t identify it, two possibilities stand before me: first, that the described world is not familiar to me, or second, that the photographic mechanism blurred the familiar.
In certain circumstances a new object is created – something ambiguous. It exerts control over the place of this seam; this paper-thin space capable of containing hybrids, fragments of memory and feelings whose place and aim are difficult for us to determine, even though we feel their proximity and identify with them. For us, they are not created according to the workings of the imagination; they exist all of the time, on that rip between the familiar and the strange.
I pass my hands across the wall so that my fingertips can feel the cracked open paint which, after winter, separated from the previous layer. I enjoy feeling it crumble and break, piling up on the floor, leaving behind an amorphous form. A few microns constitute this layer whose thickness is just that which is able to be felt. If I had not further crumbled the paint, I would not have created this form, and the peeling paint would still protrude as a fold on a wall, as curling fractures.
The printer passes indifferently over the things inserted into it – concealing with ink. When the ripped, printed photographs are placed one over the other, they unify as a new object for us: a ripped photograph of an object, as well as a new object created by the printer and merged with photography. It’s continuity folds and moves along hidden planes. We assume that it continues duplicating layers and stratifying. However, we discover that the image is separated by a rip, and that there are areas where the imagination attempts to convince us that the thing below is also the thing above, and that what is above is also below.
Were I to use my hands to grab a booklet made of paper, on which was printed additional pages, I would learn, through their image, about the connection between them. These pages would unite as a kind of small pamphlet. I would hold in my hands all of the planes present in the work, able to play with them, to move them, and to place them so as to create a continuous image, or to expose the lack of unity by flipping or shifting.
The order of these works conceals seeds of trouble in me; my thoughts destroy the possibility of these images not being continuous, that the things I see and experience are products of my imaginations, and that they are not the very thing I imagine they are. I discover that I am not capable of determining or of consenting. Continuing to flip back and forth between them I wonder: are they connected to the reality that both was and is manifested by my perceiving it, or to a space that I fabricate, based in my memories, in my world alone?
Two strips of light pass over the tiles of the bathroom. They burn the image, corrupting a section of it; they are so bright that all that is left is the paper itself – the substrate constitutes the image. In fact, this is the place in which there is no image, wherein reality was so violent to the medium that it rendered photography incapable of preserving the image as such. There we encounter a photographic wound. A proximity immense enough so as to burn the image.
We feel serene – a bathroom, a quotidian moment. We identify a private space, one that often invites the body, the nude. This is the moment, this is exactly the moment that the sun can touch – to meet a body inside a house, inside a bathroom, a place where people become most human. An encounter as delicate as a shower of photons. This feeling is that of intimacy. A feeling of uniqueness, characterized by its being pleasant. This intimacy, which I encounter inside the rips, invites me to transform my imagination and vision so as to become similarly distinct. I become a bare observer of a violence that is carried out with images that activate my senses and imagination. Facing this violence, I am continually summoned to gather just one more detail, with delicacy and tenderness to join yet another clue to my imagination – to ascribe, to catalogue, to affix, to categorize, to situate as a narrative sequence. The works on these walls battle inside me, evoking a multifaceted mood as well as intimacy.
The following is an addendum to the text accompanying “My Heart Isn’t Synchronized with Technology,” an exhibition in the Barbur Gallery featuring work by photographer Tamar Lewinsohn. Beyond the traditional work of the curator, Abraham Kritzman was inspired to compose and distribute the following words, which gallery visitors were welcome to read, to juxtapose with the exhibited works, and perhaps even to interpret. Focusing on the text itself, readers also have the opportunity to engage with an example of ekphrastic writing, which inspired me, the translator of this piece, to make this text available to an English-speaking audience. Inspired by Lewinsohn’s visual art, Kritzman’s text asks us to engage with a number of questions, including the relationship of language to visual experiences, and the possibility of evoking intimacy in and across media.