Photo-Transfer | Hanita Ilan and Mahmood Kaiss, July 2018, IDRIS Space | Curating and Text Tali Kayam

On a conceptual level the exhibition Photo-Transfer brings together bodies and reflections. On a concrete level, the bodies of work by Hanita Ilan and Mahmood Kaiss reflect passers-by on Rehov Mendeli Mokher Sfarim, through the window separating between the street and interior space of the gallery.

Hanita Ilan often handles the painterly surface as a cylinder painted on both sides. Usually she creates an installation of cylinders that comprise a single image, generally a figurative one, taken from a very clear and recognizable world, such as the figure of a whale which resurfaces in her creations. This time, Ilan is showing the cylinders as open scrolls, painted on both sides. The Old Testament teaches us that before phrophetizing, Ezekiel received a scroll from God inscribed on both sides- front and rear (פָּנִים וְאָחוֹר). He was order to consume this scroll, which tasted “as sweet as honey” in his stomach. Ilan, who embarked on the creative process from this verse of ancient scripture, created very tangible cylinders in terms of color and texture. Color thinners have turned into a meddling factor, interfering with fillings and shapes. A factor which uncovers revelation-like images from within the different layers such as animals and ruins. All together mixed as if in the digestive system, on one lasting plane. Containing and devouring simultaneously.

Mahmood Kaiss is known for his large-scale wooden installations, through which he translated the traditional Islamic arabesque pattern into a three-dimensional structure. In this exhibit he presents objects that he assembled from car parts  received from the mechanic shop located at the entrance of Nahf, the Arab town he lives in. The pieces of crushed cars welded together by Kaiss, become autonomous-whole objects. Following a meticulous polish, that which was defective, ruined and unsought, is transformed into a refined sculpture covered with a chrome-nickel cover typical of extravagant cars. This was once their lot, when they first hit the road with promise, cleanliness and majesty.

The name of the exhibition, photo-transfer, is in an intersection between many fields: in off-road vehicles it refers to the mechanics which control the gear, in local politics it resurfaces as as an impeaching and cruel possibility for the future of our region, one which the right wing faction keeps prophetizing over,finally amature artists often  purchase this material named photo-transfer, that allows them to imprint one image on another object. The reflection is a possible reminder of the calamity that befalls these objects. The encounter between the glass windows leading to the space, the nickel containing a mirror-like quality and the pink drippings, tangible and boundless, positions us as viewers at a crossroad where we constantly cruise; oscillating between recognition and obliviousness, seeing and not seeing. In the process we become part of the creation after the fact, that comes together and falls apart repeatedly.  

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Phototranspher broader text by Tali Kayam

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