Journey in material – Journey in time/ Tsipora Ahishahar
Dr. Nurit Cederboum
Seven years of creative work can, and indeed in this case do, tell us a story about many other years. These pictures in the language of material and form combined with a concept and a heart’s desire, construct a bridge between the past and the present, between man and his world, between different incidents, between different geographical environments and between fundamental significant historic events. This is how Ahishahar works.
In an era in which it is agreed that “the medium is the message” Ahishahar tells us in her own way, that she experiences the message through the medium, then processes and transmits it. Perhaps we can paraphrase by saying that “the medium is the new story”; a story told in the language of material and form, whose content is its manifestation. The story that is told through this medium is a covert story that has yet to be told, and when it is told, it appears as a symbol.
This body of works by Ahishahar began even before they were created, emerging from personal experience and the need to create bonds, to repair the gash, to mend the rift and to observe the past from a corrected and corrective place.
The “From Bratislava to Jerusalem” exhibition is the product of a long seven-year process, during which the artist processed personal memories, mingled with collective and universal memories. Creative art is always a craving, since it allows the artist to touch the material and do with it as they will, to transform the material, to blend it with other materials, even if it appears that they were not meant to coexist, to use functional objects applying them in unusual ways, remembering and reminding us what they were and yet noticing that they have become something else, collecting authentic materials from the environment, organic materials and interweaving them with processed materials and again mixing and creating something other and new. This is what Ahishahar does.
The process itself is a metaphor that can be understood as a desire to bond and connect, to renew, to restore what is distorted and to convert it into something new and good; to tell a story, deeply connected to roots, to commemorate it and also to overcome it. A creative procedure processes pain and memory, and when it is completed and the product is produced, a sense of achievement, growth and existentiality is attained.
Bratislava, as the undersigned author recollects, is known as Little Jerusalem, a sort of cold comfort for its inability to really be the Jerusalem of Israel. Ahishahar uses this collection of her creative works to pull and stretch a thread in order to connect Little Jerusalem that consitutes a sort of memory, a tale of pain, suffering, wandering, family and roots to Jerusalem in Israel, a place of growth, creativity and vision. This is the thread of thought, in a thread of memory in a thread of physical creation that appears in several of her works.
The exhibition hall provides a space for a neutral encounter, in which the creative artist connects and unites Little and Big Jerusalem. The exhibition hall allows the scenes, memories, statements and concepts to come together into one whole, a sort of metaphor for the vision of the end of days. The conceptual connections of Ahishahar lead her to create material connections between photography, painting, collage, sculpture, and embroidery, forming sharp transitions between different types of handiwork, between different types of material, often foreign one to the other, but - after processing and skilled treatment – inhabiting one united domicile.
Memory, experience and emotion, all naturally motivate and necessitate expression. Ahishahar as a multimedia multidisciplinary artist exploits the world of material as if it was her own, and indeed it is hers. She mixes, processes, bonds, assigns and creates a story representing the vision of the wolf that lies with the lamb. Material blends with material – soft with harsh, organic with chemical, object with object, harmonizing a mix of techniques which are presented as a single whole object standing alone and as a metaphor that tells us about the bonds between past and present, between people who are absent and those who are present, between pain and hope, and between vision and reality.