My Dead Ones
Curator: Yona Harel
In 1968, the philosopher and literary critic Roland Barthes published his article “The Death of the Author” where he announced that the author dies at just the moment his opus, which he has toiled to create, emerges into the world. In the process of delivering his opus from the private to the public sphere, the artist loses possession of it. Delivering it to the public enables personal interpretation to all, the artist loses relevance, and the opus exists in its own right.
Naama Aaronson, whose work is displayed here, asks us to relinquish ourselves to the fragments that constitute the exhibition, life fragments which constitute two significant figures in her life who passed away recently: one -- her beloved mother, and the other -- her close friend.
Like Barthes, Naama asks the audience to experience her work without attempting to influence, guide, or lead them. She sets no border. Life and death intermingle in a process of therapeutic sublimation which marks the stations of the lives and the deaths of the loved ones, until their final release to us, the audience.
The inspiration for the bodies wrapped in shrouds we see displayed in front of us comes from a dream Naama had the night her mother died. In her dream, her mother’s body is lying wrapped in shrouds in a shiny white field. The contrast between the bleak parting and the bright white color inspired the mourning daughter to create an exhibition where objects of mourning are presented differently from the way they are ordinarily perceived. We are not to hold on to people, but to let go. We should understand that the body ceases to exist, but that we are left with experiences and memory: these are ours forever.
Wandering around the exhibition, you will come to see that between the bodies wrapped in shrouds and the world beyond them are to be found the same stations and the fragments which make up our lives. It would have been easy to explain these stations and lead the spectators along the lives of the two deceased women. It is so tempting to sail through the districts of memory and longing. Memories of the love of Rachela, Naama’s mother, for food and the good life. Memories of the light chat over cups of coffee which made up so much of the life of Naama and her friend. Instead, Naama Aaronson chooses to create an homage made of love, longing, pain, memory and hope for the elusive “yonder” beyond the blue waters illuminated with the glowing sun. Without any mediation or leading, she attempts to draw us close to that sensation of sublimation, that same sensation she herself reached through the process of her work. And like Barthes, the artist chose to allow the viewers to sail to their own personal spheres while wandering through the exhibition, and reach that same refined moment that she reached, the moment she released her loved ones, her dead ones.
I have been creating and sculpting in paper for 20 years, and am still excited about the material I work with and the new techniques it affords, which allow me to express my ideas in an accurate way. Paper, which is a simple material, accessible, soft, primordial and expendable, turns rigid, durable and complex through my work, allowing me to produce and create my art.
The sculptures exhibited here are made with a variety of techniques of work with paper. The colorfullness is attained through the use of special paper with a variety of colors and texture.
I thank my fried Ofra Hahn for her support, for our conversations, and especially for her beautiful writing. To my friend Yona Harel – thank you for the knowledge, ideas, and practical advice. And to you who participated and contributed in the formation of the main installation – my thanks.