Naomi Slaney: Seven Days
Curator: Or Tshuva
Naomi Slaney’s Seven Days project is a site-specific exhibition alluding to the location of Petach Tikva Museum of Art’s Collection Gallery, opposite the Yad Labanim commemoration hall. In her installation of live flowers, she quotes elements and display patterns from the commemoration hall, addressing such themes as preservation, transience, and memory. A professional floral designer, Slaney touches upon the intimate, dual experience introduced by her work, as a fleeting guest in the lives of strangers who, through flowers, wish to note meaningful occasions, such as weddings and births, as well deaths and bereavement.
Like the chapters of human life, Slaney creates twelve life cycles in the gallery lasting seven days each, beginning with the arrangement of a monumental round wreath installed in the center of the space. Each week’s withering flowers will be subsequently dried inside twelve dated, blank books installed in the gallery in advance, which function as an archive in the making. This act will be repeated throughout the show’s twelve week duration. The flowers’ metamorphosis and wilting represent the passage of time and the changing seasons, but they are embalmed eternally in the timeless spaces of the gallery and the archive.
The empty books wait to be filled with the fading flowers as a painful reminder of the nature of commemorations and memorials in Israel, which not only involve the past, but also form a readymade infrastructure for those to be perpetuated in the future. Slaney renews and preserves the flowers weekly with repetitious industriousness, knowing that in the future we will have to observe their withering over again. Thus she reinforces the internal contradiction introduced by those who prepare for a foretold bleak future, but are reluctant to come to terms with it or imagine its coming.