Esther Shalev-Gerz states “All my work is based on the potentiality of trust” (Shalev-Gerz, 2013). Her projects often express the narrative of a time forgotten which she then reinterprets as slices of time in the present. She has described the importance of memory in her works as an integral aspect of her site specific installations. The relationship between object and environment is how those moments are defined. Individuals who occupy the space in the past talk about their experience and their relationship with not only the physical space but the intent of the space and their interaction with others who use those same spaces.
Though we rarely speak of trust in relation to art, a work of art may well be the ultimate expression of trust. It is as if we trust, for instance, that some inked piece of paper or painted canvas will receive us and speak truly about our world and its own. It is this space of trust that enables dialogue to unfold. Dialogue is a group of people freely reaching a place and verbally exchanging thoughts in a present and immediate way whilst listening, not only to others but also to themselves with others, then coming together and exchanging again, and after having left, coming together yet again. Such gathering is never spontaneous; still, it must be proposed. (Esther Shalev-Gerz, The Trust Gap (2013). Retrieved from • / http://art-agenda.com/shows/art-and-theory-new-publications-by-esther-shalev-gerz/
“I do think all art springs out from an invitation, real or imaginary” (Esther Shalev-Gerz, 2010).
Artist’s talk with Esther Shalev-Gerz at the Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery, January 12, 2013.
The Artwork as an Act of Memory
For over 20 years her work has focused on interventions and projects in public space, taking the form of collaboration and exchange with the audience. Her installations and photographic work raise questions on group memory and its interaction with personal history and souvenir. In these commemorative monuments, installations, video and photographic works, questions about history are posed, and its relationship with collective memory is explored and investigated. Esther Shalev-Gerz: The Artwork as an Act of Memory. 2001 by: Contemporary Past. Retrieved from: http://vimeo.com/27525041
Resources / images :
Cover image: DAEDAL(US), 2003. Intervention and Installation. Dublin, Ireland.
Still image projections variable dimensions. 15 colour photographs – 65 cm x 53 cm. 15 diasec-mounted colour photographs – 108 cm x 80 cm.
INSEPARABLE ANGELS: AN IMAGINARY HOUSE FOR WALTER BENJAMIN, 2000. Installation. Collection of the Wanås Foundation, Knislinge, Sweden. 1 Double-faced clock – 60 cm. Double-seated chair – 82 cm x 65 cm x 43 cm.
BOOKS INHALED BY THE SKY, 1998. Video Projection – 14 mn.