Intricate Affinities: Recollections of Western Tradition in Local Contemporary Art

Curator: Smadar Sheffi 15.9.2016 - 24.12.2016

The imagery in Gili Lavy's La Mère Divine (The Divine Mother) oscillates between the familiar and the foreign, between that which is decoded via prevalent iconographic forms and that which remains undeciphered. Belief, mortality, and identity are Lavy's three objects of research. She employs quintessential Christian formations and icons: the late-19th century French Catholic Ratisbonne Monastery in Jerusalem; the monastic hierarchy (Mother Superior and nuns), and the prayer order. She decontextualizes them by inventing a religion whereby a daughter worships her late mother, who transforms into a saint posthumously. Thus, by distorting and shifting familiar forms Lavy delves into psychological questions pertaining to intergenerational relationship, the dangerous transition from love to adoration, and from freedom to docility. The visual aspect is refined, while each frame emphasizes the religious rigor, as in Ingmar Bergman's film Fanny and Alexander or Theo Angelopoulos's The Beekeeper. By maintaining a resemblance to a familiar system of worship, Lavy casts doubt, creating a place in which to contemplate "truth" and authenticity.


Gili Lavy, La Mère Divine , Video