Assaf Rahat, 2016, mixed media on paper, exhibition view
“If only my eye were round and complete”
From the tes of Mordechai Geldman
Rahat’s genre creates an impression of a strong affinity to the processes of the unconscious described in Freud’s pioneering formulations in The Interpretation of Dreams. The combining of the works into a “strip” gives them a flow that is characteristic of daydreams and dreams that mix anxiety-driven representations of inner “persecutors”, constant changes in the experiencing of the self and of others, and spiritual or religious symbols. Almost all the images of the self in Strip tend toward the amorphous and look like amoebas that have taken on some humanoid form for a moment. This form is sometimes animal-like or monster-like and not infrequently androgynous, and is reminiscent of sea creatures from secret depths that have not yet been explored – from the depths of the unconscious. Almost all the creatures in Strip have inflamed skin and repulsive skin growths that attest to cruel and painful experiences in contact with the world. The atmosphere prevailing in Strip is intimate, agonizingly so because of how it displays the stripping of the psyche down to the deepest layers of the unconscious. The viewer is like someone witnessing a video film that documents the occurrences in the depths of the artist’s psyche. But Strip can also be seem as a diaristic sketchbook spread out in a space and showing the subjective psychic time of the countless transformations that frequently occur in the psyche’s depths. A personal sketchbook also allows draft paintings that preserve the denuded, the private, which is not beautified as dictated by one artistic doctrine or another.