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Black Box: Ori Gersht at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden
Ori Gersht , Pomegranate. Still from Ori Gersht's "Pomegranate," 2006. Image courtesy of the artist.


WASHINGTON, DC.- Ori Gersht (b. 1967, Tel Aviv) currently lives and works in London. He is noted for his series of large-scale photographs and arresting moving-image pieces. The artist’s work encourages viewers to reflect on the power of natural beauty and how it is affected by human intervention. In “The Forest” (2006) the camera pans a lush, primeval forest. Sound alternates with silence and suddenly a tree falls to the ground with a thunderous echo. The departure point for this work seems to be the conundrum “if a tree falls in a forest, and there is no one there to hear it, does it make a sound?” But other questions emerge: Who or what is causing these trees to fall? Is this a statement about nature and inevitability, about proverbially missing the forest for the trees, a commentary about deforestation or a metaphor for loss? Or is it perhaps an exercise in anticipation? “The Forest” is soothing but also becomes increasingly mysterious. Shot deep in the Moskolovaka woods that span Poland and the Ukraine, this site has personal meaning for the artist. It was from the edge of this glen that his in-laws witnessed the execution of their fellow villagers before escaping into the forest, where they hid from the Nazis for two years.

The exhibition also includes two flat-screen works: “Pomegranate” (2006), installed next to the entrance to the Black Box on the lower level, and “Big Bang II” (2006), a recent acquisition. These works reference traditional Spanish and Dutch still-life painting in which precise arrangements of foods, fruit or flowers are shown at their peak, implying the inevitability of decay. These metaphors for the brevity of life are termed “vanitas.” Gersht fast-forwards the impending threat of demise. His imagery does not decay by dissolving over time; it combusts and then, in the type of slow motion used to depict extreme violence in feature films, recalls the time-lapse imagery of Harold Edgerton’s scientific action photography. Gersht updates the concept of vanitas by creating meditations on how violence in contemporary life is often random, anonymous and unpredictable. Triggering a visceral response, these films translate the experiences of the artist’s fear-filled childhood in Israel into provocative statements that have global resonance.





Last Week News

December 21, 2008

Retrospective of Works by Artist John William Waterhouse on View at Groninger Museum

The Hannukkah Project: The Sound of Light by Julianne Swartz

Text/Messages: Books by Artists Opened at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis

The Guggenheim Museum Presents 24-Hour Event on the Concept of Time

Eco Sculpture Points Way to Improving Air Quality in Cities

Two World Records Set in Sotheby's Milan 19th Century Paintings Sale

Kwang Young-Chun: The Soul-Journey to America Opened at the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum

Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth Announces Focus: Jeff Elrod

MoMA Announces Exhibition of Works of Art Made by Leon Ferrari and Mira Schendel

Theater Piece/Installation Illustrates the Global Effect of Climate Change on Human Populations

Cantor Arts Center Announces Splendid Grief: Darren Waterston and the Afterlife

Smithsonian National Postal Museum and the National Museum of the American Indian Launch a New Online Collection

Major Grant Award to Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego - $225,000

Portland Art Museum Announces 2-for-1 Museum Admission on Thursday Nights

MIPIM 2009 Hosts Unique Architects Gathering

National Coast Guard Museum Association Announces New President

MIT Physics Teacher Tests Art Knowledge in Hallway Contest

Enchanted Italy at Academy of Art University, Fresh Works from Fine Art Study Abroad

Smithsonian Traveling Exhibition of Avedon's Photographs of President-elect Kennedy and Family Going to Riverside, Cali

Former Mayor Dennis Archer, JD Accepted the Charles Blessing Award from American Institute of Architects Detroit

December 20, 2008

Sotheby's Sale of Old Master Paintings and Sculpture Will be Held in New York on January

Tate Britain to Re-stage William Blake's May 1809 Solo Exhibition in April 2009

Successful Sale of Paintings and Works of Art from European Noble Families at Sotheby's Amsterdam

Facing The Music: Masks From The Himalayas To Be Offered in New York

John Eskenazi to Show Buddhist and Hindu Sculpture in New York

Morris Gallery Becomes Home to Contemporary Video Art

New Research Journal from Statens Museum for Kunst

Hollywood Comes to The Guggenheim Museum in New York

A Different Kind of Earth at Civic Museum of Contemporary Art

Threads of History: The Fabric Workshop and Museum 1977-2008

Hammer Projects: Shirana Shahbazi Opens at The Hammer Museum

National Portrait Gallery Presents President and Mrs. Bush's Portraits

"A Story of Roses" on Exhibition at the Rubin-Frankel Gallery

Peaks of Faith: Buddhist Art of the Himalayas Opens at Philadelphia Museum of Art

Noguchi Museum Cancels Asian/American/ Modern Art: Shifting Currents, 1900-1970 Exhibition

Sign Gallery Presents Peter Lamb Exhibition

PULSE Miami Defies Art Market Forecast With Solid Sales and Heavy VIP Attendance

Digital Arts Center to be Created at ArtCenter/South Florida

The Privilege of Paint: Portraits from the Courts of India Opens at Philadelphia Museum of Art

December 19, 2008

Roy Lichtenstein - Posters Opens at Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg

Drawings Found In Back of Leonardo da Vinci Painting at the Louvre

Lawyer Holding $30 Million Stolen Art Sentenced To Seven Years

VMFA Acquires "Battle of the Lapiths and Centaurs," A Heroic French Painting By Bouguereau

Exhibition Explores Impact of Asian Art and Thought on American Artists

Danish Composer and Fluxus-Artist Henning Christiansen, 76, Passes Away

Columbia Museum of Art Exhibition Reveals the Culture of the Ancient Chinese

The Aspen Art Museum Presents Now You See It: International 19-Artist Exhibition

José Ortiz Appointed Deputy Director of the Harvard Art Museum

Ancient Female Figures and Judy Chicago's Fertile Goddess at the Brooklyn Museum

Malba Presents Its Most Recent Acquisitions in New Exhibition

Seventh Annual Teen Visions Exhibition To Open at James W. Palmer '90 Gallery at Vassar College

New Documentary Captures One of America's Preeminent Photorealist Painters, John Baeder, and His Work

ARCO Madrid 2009 Presented Today - India To Be Guest Country

International Association of Two and Three Dimensional Artists 2009 Exhibition

Freer and Sackler Galleries Launch First Online Collection Catalogue About Mainland Southeast Asian Ceramics

Austin Museum of Art Receives Donation in Honor of Mary McIntyre Malott

Call For Entries: Kaikai Kiki Presents Geisai#12

December 18, 2008

Zaragoza Offers Vision of Influence of Goya on Artists from the 19th and 20th Centuries

A Room of Their Own: The Bloomsbury Artists in American Collections at the Nasher Museum of Art

Constantiner Collection Achieves Highest Total for a Single Owner Dedicated Photographs Sale

Rommel: A Mythical Figure - A Special Exhibition at the Haus der Geschichte

Moscow Museum of Modern Art Presents Andy Warhol: Motion Pictures

Excerpt from Annie Leibovitz' New Book: Annie Leibovitz at Work

MoMA Presents Global Lens 2009, A Touring Exhibition of Films from Developing Countries

A Bird Spotters' Paradise: Melchior d'Hondecoeter Paintings at Rijksmuseum

George Maciunas: The Dream of Fluxus at Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art

Deichtorhallen in Hamburg Presents Kiyoshi Suzuki Retrospective

Can Marques Exhibits Nativity Scenes for the 21st Century

Sotheby's Sale of Original Winnie-the-Pooh Illustrations Brings $1.96 Million

The Nelson-Atkins Receives $100,000 Grant from Ellsworth Kelly Foundation

Tony Bennett Donates Painting of Duke Ellington to the Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery

Amon Carter Museum Publishes Gift Book Charles M. Russells Illustrated Letters

Noble Dreams & Simple Pleasures: American Mastworks from Minnesota Collections Announced at Minneapolis Institute of Art

Sotheby's Sale of Property from the Delmonico Collection of Important Judaica Achieves $7,721,438

Kimberly Masteller Named First Jeanne McCray Beals Curator of South and Southeast Asian Art at The Nelson-Atkins Museum

2008 Emerging Architecture Prize Exhibition Opens at the Center for Architecture in Philadelphia

December 17, 2008

Louise Bourgeois' Sculpture Crouching Spider Installed in Entrance of Hirshhorn Museum

Getty Villa Unveils a Behind-the-Scenes Look at Object Collection and Conservation

16th-Century Mannerist Works by Dutch Master at Stanford

Baibakov Art Projects Opens an Exhibition of Young Russian Artists

Robert Fleck is the New Director of the Exhibition Hall of the Federal Republic of Germany

Brooklyn Museum Announces Landmark Costume Collection Partnership with the Metropolitan

LACMA Museum Associates Proposes Partnership to MOCA

Feingarten Galleries Presents First Retrospective of Legendary Filmmaker Blake Edwards

Walker Art Center Appoints Ryan French Director of Marketing and Public Relations

Nude Models Protest Low Pay in Cold Winter Day in Paris

Contemporary Jewish Museum Announces Jews on Vynil on View February 2009

Exhibition of Some of Britain's Most Notable Drawings and Watercolours will be Held at The Herbert Art Gallery

At Eye Level: An Exhibition with Works by Kathrin Halle-Kaiser and Andree Kaiser at the ZKM

Written in Bone: Forensic Files of the 17th-Century Chesapeake Opens Feb. 7 at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Nat

Finest American Collection of Posters by Toulouse-Lautrec and Mucha Featured at Swann Galleries' Auction

Southern Oregon Photographer Sean Bagshaw's Award Winning Photo of Lunar Eclipse at Smithsonian

American Academy of Art-Trained T. Allen Lawson Selected for 2008 White House Holiday Card by Laura Bush

SIGGRAPH 2009 Art Papers Explore Art in a Digital World

Christie's Fall 20th Century Decorative Arts & Design Auctions Total $9,104,625

December 16, 2008

Captured Emotions: Baroque Painting in Bologna, 1575-1725 Opens at the Getty Museum

FBI's Top Investigator Involving Art Theft and Art Fraud, Robert Wittman, Retires

The Fifth Floor: Ideas Taking Space Opens at Tate Liverpool

New Acquisitions: African-American Masters Collection at Sheldon Museum of Art

Portrait of Crimean War Nurse Mary Seacole Acquired by National Portrait Gallery

Creations by Merce Rodoreda on View at Barcelona's La Pedrera

Warhol and The Shared Subject Opens this Weekend at the Art Galleries at TCU

Fluxus Conceptual Artist George Brecht Dies at Age 82

Kaveh Golestan 1950-2003: Photographer in Iran Opened at Kunsthal Rotterdam

Brooklyn Museum Announces Exhibition of Genuine and Fake Late Antique Egyptian Sculpture

A Place to Wash the Heart at Fotografiemuseum Amsterdam

Brant Publications Launches Redesigned Interviewmagazine.com

New $35 Million Salvador Dali Museum in Florida Breaks Ground

Smithsonian Craft Show Announces Artists Selected for 27th Annual Exhibition and Sale

AIA Selects 12 Honorees for its Diversity Recognition Program

The Brooks Brings Innovative Curriculum to Memphis City Schools

Vancouver Art Gallerys Artist Edition Program Gives Visitors Chance to Take Home Original Work by Exhibiting Artists

UI Painting and Drawing Professor Receives Mitchell Foundation Grant

Most Popular Last Seven Days



1.- Porsche Super Speedster offered for first time in 50 years at RM Sotheby's Porsche 70th Anniversary Auction

2.- Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens opens 'Storytelling: French Art from the Horvitz Collection'

3.- Gauguin: Voyage to Tahiti stars Vincent Cassel as the famed French artist

4.- Stunning colored diamonds expected to dazzle at Heritage Auctions' Summer Fine Jewelry Auction

5.- US designer Kate Spade found dead at 55

6.- Vincent Van Gogh painting sells for over 7 million euros: Artcurial auction house

7.- Sir Stanley Spencer painting discovered hidden under a bed during a drugs raid

8.- Oxford's Bodleian Libraries unveil UK's first major Tolkien exhibition in decades

9.- Major exhibition at the Guggenheim explores decades of work by Alberto Giacometti

10.- World's largest freshwater pearl goes for 320,000 euros

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