Gideon Gechtman’s solo exhibition at Chelouche Gallery Life Textures commemorates ten years to his death. The exhibition binds together some of the core concepts of Gechtman’s work: the mausoleum – as a memorial site that inhabits, catalogs and categorizes objects, thus giving them meaning out of the context in which they are put; personal grief as opposed to collective grief; and the “origin” versus its duplication.
The exhibition includes pieces from Gechtman’s work Yotam, a mausoleum for the artist’s ill son that corresponds with his earlier work Exposure, which was a mausoleum for “an anonymous man”, meaning Gechtman himself. The son’s illness functions as a replica of the father’s illness, a genetic code that raises the concepts of origin and imitation that were central in Gechtman’s creation over the years. While the mausoleum is made of ready-mades, photographs and other objects that are reproducible, the work Brushes stresses the disposability of the human body made into an object, due to its organic materials – the artist’s and his wife’s head hairs. Next to Brushes are two pieces from the work Burnt in Memory; the first is an object consisting of a series of 30 still photos taken in a visit to Auschwitz-Birkenau Death Camp. The photos are organized in file cabinet drawers, and the images relate to the various textures found within the perimeter of the camp; the second piece is a documentary film that brings together two Holocaust survivors, both mothers of friends of Gechtman. The two went through similar trajectory, beginning with being on the same transport, following with living in the same barrack, having sequential numbers on their arms and more.