"DON'T TRY"

Alona Rodeh, Hila Laviv, Yoav Efrati, Stephan Goldrajch, Einat Arif-Galati, Shai Scneider.

Curator:Ofra Harnam

24.12.2011 – 24.11.2011

 

The Distance that Aspires to Diminish  /  Yali Sobol

Many writers are fond of giving tips on writing. They enjoy generously sharing of their wisdom, all the more so because there is always a demand for it — the supplementary income isn't bad at all.

The creative process, in writing as in any other field of art, is a murky business, usually as mysterious to the artist himself as to the outside observer. On the doors of this fantastic kingdom there are always other inquisitive fingers knocking, other pairs of ears hungry to hear — how is it done right?

On this matter an overabundance of words has been spilled, in lectures, instruction manuals and on internet sites. But when one of the greatest writers of the twentieth century condenses his advice in the matter to two words, and commands that they be inscribed upon his gravestone, it is worthwhile to stop and ponder them for a moment.

Upon the stone beneath which lies Charles Bukowski, it is written: "Don't try."

In a letter to a friend the writer expanded on these words: "It's very important not to try. Not to try to reach Cadillac's, creation, immortality. You wait, and if nothing happens, you wait some more."

In his poem "so you want to be a writer?", he further formulated his credo: "if it doesn't come bursting out of you / in spite of everything, / don't do it. / unless it comes unasked out of your / heart and your mind and your mouth / and your gut, / don't do it."

This belief of Bukowski's is present, kicking and crooning in his works. The distance between his raw material — his life — and the finished work is grasped as nonexistent. Whether you admire or detest him — you have to believe him. He leaves you no choice. His life bursts into his work and demands its place in it with a vibrant and fresh shamelessness, stretching its limits and threatening to spill over like a naked beer belly out of too small a bath-towel.

 

 

 

Some would say that it takes courage, but beyond courage this is an outlook that believes in the inevitable phoniness of the unnecessary work, such as doesn't come bursting into the life of its creator and force him to express it in the most faithful and unmediated way possible. It's an outlook which consequently also negates the customary and fixed hierarchies between beauty and ugliness, between sublime and sordid, between what one should be ashamed of and what one deservedly should be engaged in. The only important distinction is between the necessary, which demands to be said, and the redundant, which is destined to be forgotten.

The distance that aspires to diminish between life and art is palpably present in the works chosen for this exhibition. In the water vapor on glass paintings of Einat Arif-Galanti, which convey the impression that the finger that painted them left just a moment ago. In the trowel works of Shai Scneider, which burst out from the wall like modern cave painting.

The customary hierarchy of beauty is overturned in Hila Laviv's garbage bags are given a kick in the figure of the old woman dancing in a Belgian home for the aged in Stephan Goldrajch's work, spreads in Yoav Efrati's painting of a whale (at sight of which, a messenger who entered the gallery while the exhibition was being installed instinctively declared that his little daughter "could paint better"), is threatening to fall down all of Alona Roda's stairs and shatter on the floor in the broken beer bottle shards, which were so dear to the heart of the man who gave this exhibition its name.