Sabbath Match

Eran Shakine’s most recent sculptures and drawings (2008) are situated at an intersection that leads down two main roads. One alludes to central tropes of modernist artmaking: the work Shaharit (Dawn Prayer), for instance, calls to mind Constantin Brancusi’s Endless Column (1914); other works, whose skeleton (Dawn Prayer) or envelope (The Hill Boys, Sabbath Match) is composed of skullcaps, may recall Claes Oldenburg’s soft objects; and the block of concrete leaning on a neon tube in Floating (2008) clearly points towards Minimalism and its derivatives. 

At the same time, these works allude to ritual paraphernalia and other items from the “Jewish object shelf”: the column in Blocked Sabbath, for instance, may call to mind a synagogue column; the skullcap included in quite a few of the sculptures and drawings may appear like the product of a workshop specializing in Jewish ritual objects; and the symbolic image in Menorah or Two Orange Menorahs clearly represents the candelabra with seven lights used in Jewish worship. These works all juxtapose the production mechanisms of modernism with the memory of hand-crafted, traditional Jewish objects. One may even argue that modernist textuality — which late modernism, or postmodernism, has posited as a central characteristic of the entire movement — is likened in these works to the textuality of Jewish tradition; that the traces, or memories, of these two types of textuality are interwoven into a single textile.  Nuit Banai

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