Mirror Stage, 2012
In Mirror Stage, Ilit Azoulay combines images of a building taken at various angles and vantage points to create a new, digitally fabricated interior. The panorama is part of her series Imaginary Order (2008-2017). The project focused on the renovation of a well-known Brutalist-style building in the Israeli town of Zichron Ya'Akov. The artist photographed the structure over the course of seven years as it was transformed from a convalescent home into an art center and luxury hotel. The building's shift in function paralleled socio-political changes as Israel moved away from socialism to a capitalist economic model. Azoulay's re-creation merges elements of past, present, and future, to fabricate a never-to-be realized photographic plan.
You were born together, and together you shall be forevermore.
You shall be together when the white wings of death scatter your days.
Ay, you shall be together even in the silent memory of God.
But let there be spaces in your togetherness,
And let the winds of the heavens dance between you.
Love one another, but make not a bond of love:
Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.
Fill each other’s cup but drink not from one cup.
Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf
Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone,
Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music.
Give your hearts, but not into each other’s keeping.
For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts.
And stand together yet not too near together:
For the pillars of the temple stand apart,
And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other’s shadow.
Kahlil Gibran – On Marriage
Les Demoiselles d’Avignon
Considered one of the most famous works of art from the 20th century. Picasso’s Les Demoiselles d’Avignon marks a radical break from traditional European painting. Within a compressed space, five nude women appear to project from the picture’s surface. Their bodies are composed of flat, fractured planes, while their faces are inspired by Iberian sculpture and African masks. This work signals a revolution in Picasso’s style and established him as the leader of the Parisian avant-garde. Les Demoiselles dAvignon was painted in France and completed in the summer of 1907. A seminal work in the development of Cubism, Picassos eye-catching depiction of five prostitutes in a brothel revolutionized the art world. ◽️
The Entombment of Saint Catherine of Alexandria, 1636/1637
Francisco de Zurbarán
Saint Catherine was a 4th-century princess of Alexandria who vowed to devote her life to God and was martyred for refusing to marry the Emperor Maxentius. After torture by fire, she was condemned to death on a spiked wheel, shown in the painting's right foreground. When Catherine touched the wheel, it miraculously fell apart, and so she was beheaded. Zurbarán depicts the deceased saint being lifted by angels who will transport her to the top of Mount Sinai, her burial place. Typically Baroque, the action of the painting nearly spills into our own space, and its deep shadows reflect the widespread influence, in this instance extending beyond Italy into Spain, of Caravaggio.
from “The Spice-Box of Earth”
For Frank and Marian Scott
and a deeper silence
when the crickets
Democracy (excerpt) – Langston Hughes
I tire so of hearing people say,
Let things take their course.
Tomorrow is another day.
I do not need my freedom when I’m dead.
I cannot live on tomorrow’s bread.
Leonard Cohen, Flowers for Hitler
I am locked in a very expensive suit
old elegant and enduring
Only my hair has been able to get free
but someone has been leaving
their dandruff in it
Now I will tell you
all there is to know about optimism
Each day in hub cap mirror
in soup reflection
in other people’s spectacles
I check my hair
for an army of alpinists
for Indian rope trick masters
for tangled aviators
for dove and albatross
for insect suicides
for abominable snowmen
I check my hair
for aerialists of every kind
Dedicated as an automatic elevator
I comb my hair for possibilities
I stick my neck out
I lean illegally from locomotive windows
and only for the barber
do I wear a hat