GAN A JOINT EXHIBITION
A Garden Eastward in Eden A garden, as a conceptual entity, is fraught with a built-in internal paradox.
A garden is what-is-outside-of the home, that is, an open space used for the planting of fruit trees and ornamental plants, while concomitantly it is an area separated from the street or from neighboring lots by a constructed architectural element – a live fence, a wall or a ditch. The idea of defending something from its outside is embedded in the etymological root of the word garden in many languages (in its Hebrew form, the word ‘Gan’ is related to the root M.A.G.E.N, or ‘shield’, and similarly, from the Proto Indo-European root gher, "to grasp, enclose.")
The fact that a garden is conceptualized as an enclosed space is meant to support the illusion whereby we are conducting ourselves in an open grounds that is more than the measure of its actual size, more than what one sees and experiences while strolling within it, and that the garden exists, practically, inside and outside simultaneously. High quality gardens are therefore mysterious places, which invite us to contemplate what we experience through our senses – in a way, to contemplate what is – but also to re-examine out ideas concerning what lies beyond, outside the wall or inside, within us.
Garden, Batya Margalit and Alon Gil’s first joint exhibition is a place where form is also a model of ‘everything’ – of the world, of a personal biography, and of a shared life.
Margalit’s glasswork and Gil’s ceramics share the same principle of risk, the risk of failure, relating both artists to the ancient traditions of crafting clay and glass with fire. By means of committing fire and other high-temperature procedures to the game of creative process, as well as to their day-to-day work, a somewhat precarious, yet also rewarding, partnership is being forged with mighty forces that are never fully governable. The danger is one of shattering of the vessels.
The prize to be won is, as in life at-large, is the one of a happy, surprising accident. The outcome of work of both artists are objects of great delicacy, things that might crackle and break at any moment, but that nevertheless provide us with a beauty which is not completely natural nor entirely man-made. At their best, these works are a meeting grounds between opposing forces.
Avshalom Suliman, curator
Photography: Shira Tabachnik