A PERFECT STAGING FOR A HAPPY CHILHOOD
The enigmatic workings of memory and forgetting a recurrent theme in the work of Lihie Talmor are embodied in the very technique she employs. In photo-etching, acids burn the projections of photographs into a copper plate. The artist tampers with the photographic transparencies, with the corroding and printing process, creating a sense of erasure, blurring, of residue or darkened emphasis as if the plates themselves remember.
In this series of photo-etchings, the artist starts out from self-exposure photographs taken by her daughter in her grandmother’s apartment, shortly after the grandmother’s death in a room that is still warm, uncannily preserving the presence of the older woman. Through the artist’s use of multiple paraphrases, her staging and re-staging of the daughter’s photographs, she conjures up an array of possibilities as if to give life another chance.
In the photographs, the daughter captures herself seeing herself in the mirror while the mother looks on at this interplay of looking duplicating the image, creating an infinite progression of looks. But this is not a gaze that turns the other into an object, nor a photography that halts the flow of life. A fabric of interconnectedness is woven through the looking of these women of three generations, creating an in-between space that makes the relations of subject to subject possible.
In front of the grandmother’s wall of mementos, the horizontal plane of the table between the daughter and her camera is tilted by the artist, and becomes a surface of projection for images and poems. It is a space that both separates and binds, exemplifying the precarious act of balancing between individuation the cutting of the umbilical chord and the ties of mother and daughter, the bonding in relationships of love.
Antea Gallery, Jerusalem, 1999