Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Shirley Shor at the Contemporary Jewish Museum

The Well

Multimedia installation
Commissioned by the Contemporary Jewish Museum
Courtesy of the artist, Moti Hason Gallery, and Gallery Paule Anglim

I am not normally a fan of video art but this piece is astonishing - which is why I was so sorry that the noise level prevented me from really looking at it. Like the other exhibits, this was set within its own recessed space and there was some sort of sound track which was, unfortunately, obliterated by the noise coming from the other pieces in the exhibit. Shor set up search engines that mined Hebrew and English Internet sites such as blogs and social networks to search for texts that used the biblical phrase “In the beginning,” from Genesis. She also mined the Internet for the phrase “Thou shalt not,” as its proscriptive tone is a counterpoint to the possibility inherent in the words “In the beginning. The piece is shaped like the mouth of a well and the words circle around in an endless stream of combinations and colors. “In this piece,” notes Shor, “the Bible and the Internet function as The Well, a physical and virtual meeting place. The Well becomes a source of knowledge both sacred and mundane; both perfect and flawed.”

She is also currently showing at (through September 7th) at Gallerie Paule Anglim; well worth seeing.

image from their CJM website

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