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On different silences – Renata Har

26.02 – 05.04 / 2014
La Maudite, Paris

On different silences is Renata Har’s first solo exhibition in Paris bringing together 11 of the artist’s recent works. Although drawing has been one of Har’s regular practices, she does not have a preferred medium or material; her work rather explores the possibilities of the environment and the world around her. For example, in the installation, Helmet (2012), a Second World War helmet found at a flea market is turned into a bathtub marking the material border between two silences: air and water. There is a subtle memory of pain experienced by others suggested and materialized in this small white bathtub in permanent movement and which occupies the space where once was the home of a head. The reuse or the incorporation of diverse objects and materials in the creation process gives the work a semantic force opening the sensitive field of experience to the production of a greater reality inside the work. The objects and materials travel between the studio, the street and the house over and over again. The work does not happen exactly in the studio, it exists in the studio, at home, in a suitcase and at the exhibition and it assumes different states in each particular context and changing shapes sometimes, as we notice in Flag (2013)


The works gathered here refer to a latent tension and instability: the bubbling water of the bath helmet, the handful of glitter hold by the paper stuck on the wall in Podium (2014) or the paper ‐sculpture Island (2014) which serves as a pedestal for itself and floats in space. Following the artist: “Podium also refers to the intention to immortalize a moment that is fleeting by nature”1, revealing a certain irony from the artist. Island depicts a page from an Atlas showing only the sea, becoming an atlas which has lost its sense of orientation and range. Weaving the semantic threads that connect one object to another, one material to another, one signifier to another, the volatility of human life emerges as well as and the timeless presence of things in such life. There is a sense of tension and expectation in the room below, everywhere, on the paper, and on the flowing white fabric.

Drawings are always created upon a suitable and available support, on a piece of notebook paper, on wrapping paper or on the most precious and charged with emotional memory as paper discovered in the cabinet of one’s deceased Italian grandfather, as in Sparkling ashes (2013). The artist’s practice also includes a willingness to test the limits of the techniques, reversing the mediums, drawing leaves the paper goes toward the glass; lithography is performed on cloth as in Flag. Paper becomes sculpture as much as it can be used for making prints or collages, indicating that there is no ideal support.

Finally, in On different Silences (2014), the drawing performed on the glass façade of La Maudite consists of a gesture saying that invisibility is at the very center of visibility.

By Camila Bechelany, curator of the exhibition

This post is also available in: Spanish