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About the project and the book by Dina Yakerson



Alma Shneor and Yaara Oren’s mutual work relies on a repetitive daily practice with clear, pre-set rules: every day for six months both of the artists committed to perform an action upon a white, A5 piece of paper. This arbitrary decision determined a forced reality- a commitment to refer to an empty page on a daily basis, without having the ability to change it in retrospect. They worked simultaneously but separately, without consolidating each other and without defining any subject matters. 

By the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, perpetual practice (Abyssa) combined with non- attachment (Vairagya) are the foundation stones behind the Yoga Philosophy. By letting go of the material/ physical attachments, the practice becomes the essence itself- the final destination and not its means. Accordingly, this artistic practice, conducted in a set time- frame became an existential necessity (compared to brushing one’s teeth, or eating). Its outcome was not premeditated and one could not know where this process will lead. This given restriction enabled a mutual journey- a mutual creation while still preserving one’s individual expression. At the end of this process, 366 paper works were united into one installation covering the wall of the gallery space. The paper works hung side by side, by a chronological order partially abrogated the artistic ego; blurring the boundaries between the two artists and their artistic identities- thus transforming these two individual processes into one, cohesive piece. 

Moreover, this prolonged working process enabled the production of an artist- book. As oppose to the gallery presentation, within the book the works are divided into pairs by dates of their creation. Every pair becomes one piece, allowing a closer observation upon the new contexts derived from the combination of their paper- works. At times, it seems that both parts of the pair were initially one: an image that completes and almost illustrates a written word, men “hunting” rabbits, empty pages clinging to each other, a reoccurring pencil movement, the pink drinking straw and the pink girl by its side. Within other combinations, it is possible to recognize two completely different, individual voices emerging from the pages. 


Oren, operating within her comfort zone- the painting/ drawing medium turned this limitation into freedom; a possibility to experiment and try- on new techniques: brush strokes, collages, stickers, drippings and more. Alongside the works which contain her very distinctive visual language, there are those which depict light- footedness, humor and experimentation. Oren, examined various techniques upon days and pages, in an honest attempt to step out of her own artistic limits by creating a series of airy scribbles, stickers and cut-outs transforming into sceneries, geometrical abstracts and more.  


However, the medium of painting is alien to Shneor’s artistic path- releasing her from the formalistic preoccupation with a visual language of lines and colors. Part of her works examine the limitation of the action itself- how far one can go and still remain within the frame of an A5 paper, by means of folding, ripping and cutting. The great majority of these works reveal an open wound, a kind of uninhibited personal diary. At times, the page visually represents daily occurrences: trivial ready- mades pasted upon the paper such as, sporadic thoughts and remains of a cup of coffee or a diaper. At other times, the pages are filled with a medley of words and sentences- erased and re-written on top of each other; a relentless stream of consciousness. At other times, the chaotic writing reveals itself as a compulsive and deliberate act- repeating the same sentence over and over while its lines over-lap each other, covering themselves up as though the writer is asking to redeem herself from those words by means repetition and over- exposure; or rather to conceal their content from the eye of the observer by their exaggerated externalization. With a sequence of confessions and unappeasable honesty, Shneor doesn’t try to conceal her failures, her vulnerability and her artistic impotence often portrayed in the empty pages. 

The limitation Oren and Shneor chose for themselves serves as a physical embodiment to the familiar image of the ‘artist who stands in front of an empty page’. Accordingly, everyday they stood in front of the empty piece of paper, facing the frustrating freedom of endless creative possibilities. However, here, the actual commitment to the action made its result un- binding. Meaning, their obligation to perform an action on top of a page every day no matter what, made its actual outcome unimportant; not measures by its artistic value or visualization. Thus, this experiment enabled a freedom to experiment, to search for an individual voice along with the chance to lose control and ‘become someone else’. Untangled from their internal critique, from the unwritten rules of what ‘should be exhibited’, they managed to return to their primal creative experience and forget themselves within the act itself.

The exhibition exposes a vulnerable, intimate process, presented to the audience without any intervention or editing. It is a raw, unglamorous “product”, offering a glance to the hidden drawers of an imagined studio; depicting the bitter disappointments, impotence and frustration- inevitable in any artistic process; personal hidden processes that usually become the “story behind” a work of art- receive their own arena:

scribbles, drawings, cut-outs, folds and thoughts- that are not meant to be read. 


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