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(Fragment) Vertical Swamp No 1., 2014. Courtesy Galerie EIGEN + ART Leipzing/Berlin. Photo: Uwe Walter © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2017

The artists featured in “Dreams and Dramas”. Yehudit Sasportas 0

Introducing the artists featured in the Israeli contemporary art exhibition Dreams and Dramas

From October 7 to November 5, Riga's forthcoming ZUZEUM Art Centre will be hosting the largest ever exhibition of Israeli contemporary art in the Baltics. Curated by Roy Brand, an Israeli philosopher, curator, and lecturer at the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design in Jerusalem, it brings together works by fourteen distinguished Israeli artists: Porat Salomon, Dor Guez, Nir Hod, Guy Zagursky, Noa Eshkol, Avner Ben-Gal, Sagit Mezamer, Erez Israeli, Keren Yeala Golan, Marik Lechner, Daniel Kiczales, Eitan Ben-Moshe, Sigalit Landau, and Yehudit Sasportas.

The exhibition is created as a special project for Riga, initiated and sponsored by the Riga-born businessman and patron of the arts, Leon Zilber.

Today's focus is on Yehudit Sasportas.

Yehudit Sasportas is a Berlin- and Tel Aviv-based Israeli artist who graduated from the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design in 1999. Her site-specific installations, which include sculptures, drawings, video and sound works, delve into subconscious territories and call for an intense sensory experience. Sasportas represented Israel in the 2007 Venice Biennial, and has presented more than ten international solo exhibitions during the last decade, in venues such as The Kunsthalle Basel, The Berkley Museum of Art, San Francisco, The Kunstverein Braunschweig, DA2 Domus Artium, Salamanca, and The Israel Museum, Jerusalem. Sasportas ’ occupation with the swamp is one of the better-known aspects of her work in the past decade. The swamp embodies an unprocessed part of nature, partly rejected, which has not undergone cultural integration; on the other hand, it is a vital source of regeneration and life and figures prominently in our collective unconscious.

Vertical Swamp No 1., 2014. Ink on compressed paper foil, MDF, engraving and mixed media, 300 x 200 (diptych, 150 x 200 each). Courtesy Galerie EIGEN + ART Leipzing/Berlin. Photo: Uwe Walter © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2017

The artist recognized in the desolated landscape of trees and stagnant water “a hotbed of energy and life”, to which she developed a deep connection: “It is standing water, and it seems like a dead place, but actually it’s the most alive place that I have ever experienced because many things are happening there in a different way than we are used to. It’s a different way of producing life—not the conventional, classical, positive form but nevertheless, not so different. I was interested in the swamp as something that is excluded from the whole; it feels like an unintegrated part of culture that is being rejected.”

Magnetic Heart. Installation view, 2008. The Laboratory. Kunstverein Braunschweig, Germany. Photo: Uwe Walter

“My sculptures and drawings deal with the way that life information, in all its forms, imprints the human spirit and creates its own independent structures. My drawings shift between a dark and deep aesthetic, minimalism and an ephemeral poetic contemplation. They transmit a sense of otherness, anxiety and stress, as well as highly complex inner workings which characterize the qualities of the subconscious materials to which I relate”.

Tfilin, 2015. MDF, acrylic, engraving, 300 x 200 (2 parts, 150 x 100 each). Courtesy Galerie EIGEN + ART, Leipzig/Berlin, Photo: Uwe Walter. © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2017

“My works often serve as interfaces or meeting points between the invisible but perceived subconscious space and the physical sphere, which in turn echoes their effect.” Interestingly, Sasportas has chosen to split her time between Tel-Aviv and Berlin: “This is kind of the story of my life: trying to be in two different places at the same time. There is always one empty space, and one space where you are. I was connected to two different places but actually staying only at one place, and relating and corresponding with the other place simultaneously. I can say that these two very, very different environments have had a huge impact on my work.”

Exhibition “Dreams and Dramas”: Guy Zagursky
Exhibition “Dreams and Dramas”: Erez Israeli