Cutting By The Meter at Zadik Gallery

Section from Dvora Morag's painting/Courtesy of Zadik Gallery

On January 1, 2011, at 11:00 Zadik Gallery will host an unusual art event: the cutting of Dvora Morag’s 22 meter long, 32 centimeters wide painting. Morag’s painting, created over a period of 8 years, has been on exhibit at the gallery, and sold by the meter. Now, at the closing of the exhibit, the painting will be cut, and the public is invited!

How did it all come about? From Zadik Gallery:

A newspaper photograph from 2001 inspired Dvora Morag’s epic oeuvre. Shaul Golan’s photo features a soldier in the kitchen of an Arab house looking out the window. The soldier’s presence in a house where he doesn’t belong jolted Morag to the concept of Home. A home which is the total sum of walls, rooms and belongings that define the human being. Their abrupt invasion by a total stranger accentuates their existence. Being the daughter to holocaust survivors raised the question of an object’s place in the house and whether the object has the power to be a person’s reflection.

Her first decision was to draw a 25 meters long house – the total perimeter of a room. Homeliness, according to Morag, is the product of the meter length and the energy invested in it. She therefore didn’t just draw a house out of observation but through stripes. The stripes constitute an analogy to the energy and spirit that we bring into a house, and in fact into a work of art.

This choice converts this banal, mundane non-heroic subject into a brilliant show full of depth and focus, intertwining joy and sorrow. 

The eight year journey starts with “peering out”, inspired by Shaul Golan’s photograph which is the first image in the painting. The next image reveals that the gaze is directed inward – into the house. Hectic camera movement takes us from kitchen to bed, from bathroom sink to vase. Morag’s intuitive chaos is intriguing regarding the house and its significance. Fragments of reality bouncing from place to place force the viewer to bridge the gap and compose his story of the house. Like Prust and Perec in literature, Morag converts the objects into storytellers.

In addition to its time travel, the painting also traveled in space. It was begun in Tel-Aviv, continued in Paris and completed in Tel-Aviv. In this journey it became a rolled canvas mobile home. The story’s Parisian chapters, in grey and yellow take over the house’s Israeli light and generate an answer regarding the house’s meaning. Morag’s Sisyphean documentation of her house attests to the fact that the house that we contain only exists within us, since even when we stand in it we never see all of it – just visualize.

The work’s display in Zadik gallery is part of an appraisal of the house. The painting will be sold by the meter. The stripes used by Morag to accentuate the gap between what’s visible and hidden, illuminated and dark, between viewer and narrative will function as marks for the painting’s cutting.

Morag renounces her epic oeuvre and is ripe to slash and cut all that she had invested in eight years: “This act materializes the paradox that I feel daily regarding the interaction between artistic creation and the assessment of its value by criteria of institutions and market”.

Zadik Gallery, 16 Shimon HaZadik, Jaffa, 077-495-6981