Curator: Ory Dessau
The exhibition “Pleated Blinds” offers an international perspective on the status of photography and the intricate nature of representation in the contemporary cultural sphere. It focuses on self-referential contemporary photographic practices addressing their own processes, actions, materials, and contexts. Each of these practices reveals a concealed aspect of the photographic image, at times reinforcing it, in awareness of the covering and transformation involved in the very act of exposure.
The exhibition is centered on disruption of photography’s quintessential technical and material difference which sets it apart from any other artistic medium. It engages in deconstruction of photography’s essentialist definitions, while challenging prevalent perceptions regarding photography as a documentary tool which records and reflects reality, thereby revealing other facets of photography as a mechanism of camouflage which generates blindness and promotes blurring and ambiguity.
The exhibition’s abstention from presenting incidental, episodic, or allegorical narrative photography is congruent with the inclination which prefers the screening-screened image that blocks access to the “world.” Instead of relying on photography as a technology of representation, the works in the exhibition push the photographic frame to its edges, to its built-in cutting and fragmentation. They explore its relationship with that which remains outside the frame, with an exterior which return to the surface as absolute otherness, a non-assimilable sign. The featured works explore the status of the photographic image as such, as any other image—a representation, a sign of presence, of absence. The works represent their processes of formation, and each work is experienced as the sum total or a sequence of an interrupted and continuous sequence, of acts and situations. A photograph is always an index: it is always anchored in time and place. The encounter between this objective dimension and contemporary abstraction in photography enhances the chaotic nature of the world itself, generating gaps, holes of knowledge and experience.
On the whole, the exhibition rekindles the discussion of the identity, status, and state of the photographic medium in contemporary art, vis-à-vis the many changes that have occurred in it as a result of technological developments. It features photographic, cinematic and video works by Israeli and international artists.
The exhibition is held in collaboration with Goethe-Institut Tel Aviv and the Shpilman Institute for Photography (SIP).