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Photography installation

"This space is defined as the "green gallery". It is a particular space, a room that is part of a larger building – Ashdod Museum of Art. This is not a standard display space: elongated in shape and low-ceilinged, it usually used as a passage. The location of the gallery in the “backstage” area of the museum gives it a dual role, and as such it holds the fundamental tension between the quotidian and the artistic. A room in its essence is perceived as a still object designed to hold activity. But in order for it to display this still façade, there is a need for an entire dynamic and complex operational infrastructure. A hidden or undetected infrastructure seen as distinct and separate from the actual space. The visible and still room, and the hidden yet dynamic infrastructure, are two inseparable, inherently opposing parts that form one complete space.

Sara Laviashvili saw this gallery as a source of inspiration. Its symmetrical aesthetics and its elongated proportions underscore its character as a passage and a back room, and generated in her a need to respond, to create art in this hidden, unseen part of the museum. This is the space that she set out to uncover, deconstruct, and understand through interventions and observation. Carrying out various interventions, Sara Laviashvili created a game of hiding and revealing the different elements in this space. Covering the walls and ceiling with bubble wrap provided them with the protection and conservation of an artwork, softening their rigidity, but at the same time also obstructing any direct contact. The gallery’s floor was also covered. As we walk on the white coating, a dual documentary act is set in motion: the active recording of our presence in the actual space, and a copy of the texture of the room’s floor.

The motif of exposure and coverage is reiterated in the gallery’s lighting. The gallery is illuminated only by delicate beams of light and external light. Peeking into the lighting cylinders mounted on the ceiling lamps reveals images originating in the space – the piping and wiring infrastructure hidden above the dropped metal ceiling. At the same time, this is not an unmediated exposure of the infrastructure, but rather one mediated by the lens of the artist’s camera.

The entire installation as a whole, and the lighting cylinders in particular, can be seen as analogous to a camera as a technological device, operated by a mechanism based on exposure to light. The camera allows us to focus, to pause in the moment, to capture and thus, also to observe. But it also selects and distinguishes. Photography as a medium serves as a means that exposes the space, but moreover, photography serves as an example to a device, both practical and conceptual, through which to expose the obvious and break it down to its elements. Something that perhaps should be done, sometimes, with all things considered obvious."

© copyright 2024 sara laviashvili

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