“…glorious (gifts) of the Muses…makes…and of the Graces… slender…not to forget the anger… mortals… share…”
-Sappho (from the Loeb Classical Library)
Gallery visitors are now acclimated to exhibitions displaying unframed works. Adhesives, or sometimes pins, connect these works directly to the wall. Instead of appended materials, the extremity of the exhibited work distinguishes the wall as a setting; the material reach of the work is bound by this extremity. “My Heart Isn’t Synchronized with Technology”, the newest exhibition at Jerusalem’s Barbur Gallery, teases the imagination of its visitors, begging them both to become accustomed to adventurous material extremities of photographic prints and to project beyond them.
This exhibition marks the second solo exhibition of Israeli photographer Tamar Lewinsohn. The objects presented in the photographs of “My Heart Isn’t Synchronized with Technology” are perhaps surprising in their ordinariness. Surprised or not, gallery visitors will be greeted by images such as the following: an apartment door opened to expose the thin, inner face housing its locking mechanism; a bug against a mesh screen; a window casting a shadow across a wall. Given that these images can be found in most people’s homes, Lewinsohn’s interest probably lies beyond the mere framing of these objects. Perhaps her work offers a fresh perspective with which to consider relational aspects of these images.
The framing of these photographs serves as the most explicit intimation of the indirect questions this exhibition poses about relations. On the walls of the gallery, Lewinsohn’s photographs sometimes overlap each other — forming cluster’s of paper that are ambiguously singular and multiple. Sometimes these pieces are overlaid on to a bigger, all encompassing piece, exposing Lewinsohn’s method of attaching paper fragments onto bigger pieces when printing the photograph. Looking at the extremities of these pieces and fragments further confuses any attempt to designate the frames of the these photographs. The expected rectangular edges of the paper are nowhere to be found. Having torn the pages on which she printed the photographs, Lewinsohn presents fragments that evoke a number of questions.
Just like with unframed works, exhibiting torn paper is not novel. For instance, in the Israel Museum exhibition Tearing the Line, works by American artist Leon Polk Smith consist of solid color rectangles torn. With Smith’s work, the process of ripping as well as the shape and texture of the rips seems to be the focus of the work. Lewinshon’s tears stand distinct from those by Polk Smith. Her tears not only nod towards experimental printing processes, their final fragments excite alternative ways of considering the relationship between photography and objects. These fragmenting tears induce their viewer to project beyond those edges. It’s as if our minds are forced to project a schematic rectangular frame, while those everyday objects and fuzzy images evoke imaginative leaps beyond those borders — both those present and those projected.
(The exhibition’s curator, Abraham Kritzman, composed an ekphrastic text inspired by Lewinsohn’s work; the English translation can be found here.)
My Heart Isn’t Synchronized with Technology is on view until Friday, May 11 at Barbur Gallery, Shirizli St. . Photography and artist book by Tamar Lewinsohn. Curation (and ekphrastic text) by Avi Kritzman.
About the Author: Lonnie Monka is a freelance writer and poetry enthusiast. He is also the founder of Jerusalism, an initiative to foster local literary community in Jerusalem, where he continues to organize readings series, workshops, and social gatherings. He also enjoys posting pictures of @toiletsofjerusalem on Instagram.