Posted by tracey on:
The artist Ori Gersht gave a talk today at the Santa Barbara Museum of Art. It was a private talk just for the Docents and staff were invited too. The work is incredible and a must-see for artists and those interested in the history of art.*
He began with one of the films in the exhibition. A high-pitched scream built and built as the image slowly came into view. The woman seated in front of me winced and cringed as the sound grew louder and more shrill. Then -- POW -- it exploded and suddenly the beautiful floral still life was exploded - and silent. Petals fluttered, floated free from their confined perfect placement. Free now, the glass and flowers filled the screen and through the smoke looked like confetti during a ticker tape parade. The horror of the sound, the beauty of the flowers, and the violent explosion ended in a silence both horrible and beautiful.
Working with Cartier-Bresson's idea of the 'decisive moment', also sometimes called the pregnant moment, Ori Gersht makes visible the split second of time between life and death. He began the talk with Goya's Third of May, one of the most famous history paintings of all time. Contrasted with Manet's The Execution of Maximilian painted after the invention of photography, Gersht noted how different the picture looked, using photographs for reference and knowing that it was possible to depict the moment, not from memory, but from detailed documentation. The camera can capture what the eye cannot see. This changes everything.
More on Ori Gersht at SBMA's Blog http://blog.sbma.net/2011/05/exhibition-preview-ori-gersht-lost-in/
and watch a video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0KMsrE3e30k
* and a must-see for everyone else too. It's gorgeous and thrilling. The show opens to the public on Friday, May 20. www.sbma.net