Gallery Talk: AdhesionCurator Vardit Gross in conversation with Artists Orly Sever and Maria Saleh Mahameed
Curator Vardit Gross in conversation with Artists Orly Sever and Maria Saleh Mahameed.
Monumental canvases are spread out on the floor in Maria Saleh Mahameed’s living room. The sofas are pushed aside, life is crammed into the kitchen, and art takes over the house; or so we would like to think. In reality, life creeps in, constantly, everywhere and at all times. Saleh Mahameed’s bare feet step all over the canvas, depart momentarily to take care of her newborn girl, exit the picture and return to it, leaving signs and imprints on it. Life and art, studio and home, mother and infant become one.
Saleh Mahameed’s works tell a story that progresses from the autobiographical to the general: Like the MRI, that wraps and binds at the same time, like the rabbits released from the hospital pajamas onto the canvas, and like her private phobia of horses crystallizes into a painting that conceals all of our fears.
Orly Sever scatters basic architectural forms throughout the gallery space—a bridge, a box, a rectangular pillar. We are forced to confront their existence, walk around them, acknowledge their essence. For a moment they look like monumental wooden blocks choking the space. We may stumble upon them while making a futile attempt to put them in order, as if there is an actual place where they are supposed to be. For a moment they look like living creatures washed into the gallery, trying to find their place, settle down and stabilize themselves. Giant ancient wild beasts gathered together, regulating their breathing, getting used to the bright light.
Via meticulous manual work, Sever puts the sculptures through a process similar to the one she herself experienced in the past year. An external process becomes internal—bruising, exposure, scratching, tremors, covering, sealing, and peeling. The structures’ protective layer—acrylic tar intended to seal and shelter them from the world—was damaged. Wounds are exposed, trembling from within; physical action becomes mental action.Read more
Orly Sever and Maria Saleh Mahameed
8 Ha’Amal st.
Friday July 16th