Solo Exhibition

Earth to Earth

17.01.2024
 - 20.07.2024
Chelouche Gallery
Tel Aviv Museum of Art
Curator: Dalit Matatyahu
Uri Gershuni operates in the field of photography like a lightning rod of stories and the traces they leave behind. His work is a form of clinging to what will pass and fade away. The exhibition Earth to Earth features two series of photographs, centered on clouds, plots of land, and planes crossing the sky.
Uri Gershuni, Untitled (4), 2020-2022, black-and-white photograph, archival inkjet print, 5x7 cm (40x30 cm framed)

Uri Gershuni operates in the field of photography like a lightning rod of stories and the traces they leave behind. His work is a form of clinging to what will pass and fade away. The exhibition Earth to Earth features two series of photographs, centered on clouds, plots of land, and planes crossing the sky.

The series of land and airplane photographs was taken in the Gan Rashal neighborhood, established in the 1950s on the border of Herzliya and Ra’anana. Its name, Rashal, was formed from the Hebrew initials of Rachel, Sarah, and Leah—the biblical names of the mothers and wives of the first landowners of the Gan Rashal citrus grove, Gershuni’s childhood district. His grandfather, agronomist Zvi Gershuni, built the family home on site and planted orchards and groves which became the family business. Upon his untimely death in a car crash, care of the orchards passed to his son—Uri’s father, artist Moshe Gershuni—who was discharged from the army at the age of 19 and became a farmer against his will.

The photographs of Gan Rashal document and record the physical territory in its current state, but the space of the image conjures up the ghosts of everything that is no longer. Gershuni’s gaze turns up and down as in prayer, to the grass and parched land, and to the airplanes that take off, pass by, and return to the nearby home port. The identification of death and memory with the medium of photography echoes in one’s mind while viewing the works, knowing that his father’s art was tied to the soil of the orchard and its produce, and that after his death, Moshe Gershuni’s ashes were scattered on this piece of land, which has not borne fruit for years.

In the series of cloud photographs, Uri Gershuni places his camera on the roof of the house in Majorca to which he moved with his family after the deaths of his parents. In this liminal space between heaven and earth, the distinction is sharpened between the childhood land or the homeland, and that which has no place, whose movement is nomadic, and its form constantly changing. The decision to place one cloud in each photographic frame alludes to the doomed-to-fail desire to hold onto what cannot be grasped, onto spatial and temporal infinity.

Both series were shot with several models of “kid” cameras—simple digital cameras belonging to the artist’s son, Khalil. The decision to voluntarily renounce professional knowledge accumulated during Gershuni’s processes of maturation and apprenticeship, allows him to open up to an intuitive, uncertain and uncontrollable vision.

Dalit Matatyahu

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