GATHERING WINDS by Lilly Wei 2010

GATHERING WINDS by Marc Scheps

CONTINUITY by Marc Scheps, 2009

 

 

 

 

GATHERING WINDS by Lilly Wei

Dina Recanati’s spacious downtown Manhattan studio is stocked, at the moment, with objects the size and shape of soccer, beach and large exercise balls. Gel-soaked fabrics such as linen, Italian canvas, cotton or velvet (Recanati likes to experiment with different weaves and their effects) have been molded snugly around the balls, coaxed into ridges and crevices that might also be thought of as mountains, valleys and rivers and resemble three-dimensional globes, miniature worlds, some collapsed into themselves. Painted afterwards, they are often white although some are a caramel shade somewhere between sand and mud, some are black or darkest blue with flickers of red, other shades of blue, yellow, even green, referring to the colors of the natural world, to sea, sky, earth, clouds. Recanati prefers a more or less monochromatic palette in order to focus on the complexity of the patterns. Walking around them — they are randomly placed on the floor--it is as if you had stumbled into a workshop for a planetarium, or more magically, into another dimension, a cosmos in the making — or unmaking.

Jostling for space in the studio are also a cluster of squared columns, varying in height, wrapped in fabric painted black, also streaked with other colors, suggesting both ancient monuments and urban skyscrapers, memorials to civilization and its cycles of construction and destruction. They inevitably suggest the towers of the World Trade Center and other landmarks built by human ingenuity, desire and sometimes folly, valiant but shrouded as if in mourning. Recanati thinks of columns as the actual and symbolic basis of culture, of building components, on the one hand, and as trees on the other, a source of human sustenance since time out of mind and highly valued. Trees are oases, places for meditation, metaphors for the stages of life--for growth, death and renewal--rooted in the land but reaching toward the heavens, connecting one to the other.

Recanati, a sculptor and painter, has been making art for decades and is a hands-on artist for the most part, her objects created out of the directness of touch, her works evolving through decisions made as she proceeds, the final results not predetermined. The spheres are new to her repertory — she began experimenting with them in 2008 — although she has used draperies and fabrics for quite some time, formatting them as wall reliefs and freestanding, vibrantly colored sculptures and installations, both small and monumental.

The Winds of the spirit and the matter meet at the heart of the Work

The more traditional rectilinear formats that she uses produce
works somewhere between painting and relief, and again depend upon manipulating fabrics. In some, the painted surfaces glow like dull bronze, aluminum or silver and fool you into thinking they are cast metal objects. A time-sensitive process, Recanati has about a two-day grace period to shape the gel-impregnated cloth into the intricate patterns she wants. Usually, she works with a single piece of fabric but has used up to three drapes to see how tonalities might vary, how light might play across the textures of the different materials, how folds might change in appearance due to the juxtaposition. At variance to earlier work in which the folded fabric is a discrete image attached to the ground, the entire field in these recent works has been activated into an all-over composition and the discrete image detached from the canvas. That in turn spurred a series of irregularly shaped, free-standing works that might also be mounted as wall sculptures. She associates the rectangular formulation with portals; some are nearly the same dimensions as standard doors and oriented vertically. To Recanati, they represent sites of transition from one space to another, and more emblematically, as transitions from one stage of existence to another, from beginnings to ends to beginnings again. These reliefs, however, most forcibly evoke alluvial plains such as the Nile delta, sand-swept deserts, a drift of dark waters or night skies, the swirled, sensuous elaborations seemingly cross-sections of phenomena excerpted from nature, enriched by imagined artifacts and histories.


She is also working on a series of books. Recanati has made books all her life, drawn to them not only for their content but also for what they represent. Books are an invention unique to human beings, she said, distinguishing us as rational creatures capable of abstracting, of developing systems of thought. Recanati’s project is an ongoing homage to the ability, to the urge, to do so. They recall, on a much smaller, concentrated scale, the weighty, elemental tomes of Anselm Kiefer. Hers look as if they had been dipped in rivers, buried in mud and excavated, their stiffened cloth veneered and colored by time, as if they were diaries inscribed by nature. They are usually six or seven pages in length (otherwise they would be too bulky to close), updated versions of the medieval book of hours, with their emphasis on time, place and ritual.
Inspired by Yves Klein’s International Klein Blue table, Recanati has made her own table. It consists of an approximately 3 1⁄2 x 4 1⁄2 foot rectangle of gathered fabric painted a striking regal blue--although not a Klein blue--again crumpled and crinkled, crevassed and ridged, the color modulated by the patterns. The panel is supported by four rectangular legs that are about 1 foot high and enclosed in Plexiglas, the top overlaid with clear glass. The transparency permits a view from above, as if looking down upon an expanse of water, the blue table another microcosm.
An appreciation of the nomadic sensibility has informed and excited Recanati’s imagination from the beginning, explicitly depicted in her soft sculptures of bundles and tent-like structures and more abstractly in her present work. I see references, directly and obliquely, to the parched landscapes of deserts and the vastness of seas traversed by migrating populations, scattered by natural, political, social and economic forces — by the propulsion of history. Above all, Recanati is influenced by her own experience, her own emigration from one part of the world to another. Looking at her work, turbulence, chaos and destruction is contrasted and balanced by stability and recuperation, by resolution. You gather what you can to take with you in the form of portable physical objects, in the form of memories. It is like gathering the wind, she said.

*Lilly Wei Lilly Wei is a New York-based independent curator, essayist and critic .who
writes for Art in America and is a contributing editor at ARTnews.

 

↑ top

GATHERING WINDS by Marc Scheps

A few years ago, Dina Recanati started creating these works developing out of a profound sense of inner necessity. The name she gave to this impressive ensemble of works in progress seems to indicate that adverse winds are blowing with great force. Could they possibly be those of an existential anxiety faced with the torment of the world that the artist attempts to bring together in her works? One thing is certain: Their severity and austere strength express a drama of a rare intensity. These works show us the commanding flow of the forces of life crossing barren territories.
The reliefs, as well as the columns, the spheres and the books continue a work that saw the light of day half a century ago but has now become enriched with a new dimension: Restricted to the most essential, each work unites a course of lines to create a spatially dense, agitated relief that reflects its shadows and gains its color — that is often of a particularly sophisticated nuance — in its body. Recanati has chosen three formats to define a formal structure to contain the formless, dynamic torrent that is already gathering force: These are the square (50 x 50 cm / 20 x 20 inches), the double square (122 x 61 cm /48x24inches)andtheratioof3:2(182x121cm/72x48inches). She makes use of various unstretched canvases (sometimes of cotton) and creates a relief on them out of chaotic movements before painting it with a monochrome — or, at least, dominating — color. There are a limited number of them: various earth and sand colors, a mineral or metallic black; and then, a blue that summons up an aquatic or cosmic feeling, and finally, the white of pure light. With these colors, we are confronted with the four elements symbolizing the universe: earth, water, air and the light emanating from the solar fire.
Since 2000, Recanati has experimented with different qualities of canvas as a material allowing the formation of spatial configurations. First of all, with her “Archives” and “Diaries”, followed by the series of “Bundles” and “Open Bundles”, and finally by the “Samurai”. The series of “Gathering Winds” has its origins in an experience she did not pursue at the time. It is with her creative intuition and her hands that she is going to create movements in relief with a canvas previously saturated with a gel medium that makes it malleable before it dries and hardens. These reliefs have no form; they much more express a sequence of raging, contradictory rhythms. Recanati invests the amorphous material
of the canvas with zones of contradiction, with moments of relaxation, she creates hollows and peaks, sets free sluggish or rapid currents. The baroque reliefs end up by finding a sense of equilibrium between the forces that shake them and their own movements that appear to be set for eternity and, in this way, preserve the visual and tactile memory of their vitality. In keeping with their structure and colors, they evoke a terrestrial relief or an aquatic movement. These reliefs have no center, they cross the surface like a hurricane coming from somewhere else and blowing towards the unknown; the limits of the canvas are those of our vision and we can imagine them continuing to infinity.
The “all-over” character of the pictorial surface follows in the footsteps of Jackson Pollok but, in place of the successive layers of drippings that he threw on his canvases, Dina Recanati achieves intensity and depth through the dazzling density of the reliefs that cover the entire surface. As if observed from a distance, we see the topography of an unidentified planet, whose frozen geological hollows bear witness to a whirlwind expelling emptiness and creating a labyrinthine, indecipherable course. However, these images are the result of the artist’s precise vision. Each one of Recanati’s works — going beyond its unique aspects — reveals a style, and message on the complexity of the world and the necessity to keep on moving so that the “Gathering Winds” can lead us to our goal. For the artist, the winds of the spirit and matter meet at the heart of the work.
Looking back at the works once again brings to mind those of several European artists from the late 1950s. First of all, the “texturologies” and “topographies” of Jean Dubuffet who taught us the importance of observing “just skimming over the ground”. One is entitled “Terre mère” (1959-60) where the artist stresses the metaphor of the earth as the existential crucible. Piero Manzoni, with the minimalist folds of his “Achromes” (1958-60), invests the painting with the status of an object — a characteristic we find in the work of Dina Recanati who, however, does not abandon the aura of a significant image. When dealing with the monochrome painting of Yves Klein, we should consider his “Relief planétaire bleu” (1961) that is the expression of a cosmic vision running through his work. Klein and Manzoni, who both died while still very young, belong to the same generation as Recanati. One aspect these artists have in common is their profound need to go beyond the appearances of the visible and develop a vision that, using the materials of the world, permits them to reveal certain truths of the invisible universe.
In her quest for a “different” reality, Recanati has returned to the
column that has been present in her work since 1972. They were originally cast in bronze and then created using sheets of aluminum before finally appearing with painted veneer wood. The column in “Gathering Winds” is square, its dimensions human; it is a volume covered with a cloth with all its folds and rustlings painted blue. Its reliefed verticality is possibly a reminiscence of those sculptures representing the gods of Olympus with the pleats of their tunics flowing down their bodies. They are firmly positioned on the ground but their being is of a cosmic nature and the blue column conveys this sense of ascension. This interpretation of the column as the axis of the world, uniting the earth with the celestial spheres is reinforced by the appearance of a new element in the work: the sphere. These have various dimensions and are placed on the ground. They are covered with planetary reliefs, and painted blue or white. Placed in space, they form the beginning of a planetary system; white for the solar light, blue for the mineral, aquatic night of a planet. They form a totality that can be approached from any point.
To complete this microcosm, a blue relief placed on a support adds a horizontal dimension, the basis from which all momentum sours upwards. Dina Recanati does not forget the human dimension and represents this with the book, the visual reflection of our accumulated memory. The book has appeared in her work since 1976 and it has experienced many alchemic transmutations since then — from gold to bronze, and from aluminum to the painted surface. The stratified planetary layers make this an object charged with a greater sense of mystery than ever before. Its compressed energy communicates the images of the intuitive and personal cosmology of the work to us. They make us aware of a reflective intimacy that is anguished but, simultaneously, also curious to discover the secrets and origin of the “Gathering Winds”, a search the artist has still not completed but which she now reveals to us in several moments made unforgettable by their force, their truth and also by their
beauty. Marc Scheps
Marc Scheps has been Director of the Tel-Aviv Museum of Art, The Museum Ludwig in Cologne, Germany and the Peter and Irene Ludwig Foundation. He is the author of many publications on modern and contemporary art.

↑ top

 

 

CONTINUITY by Marc Scheps

IN SEARCH FOR LOST MEMORY

Dina Recanati's work basically stems from her feeling that existence is fragile and ephemeral by nature. The artist is in search for a fleeting and indiscernible memory, haunted by the idea that life is a progression that ineluctably leads us to the void and disappearance which are the meaning of death. This affirmation may seem to be somewhat preemptory, and we shall seek elements that may allow us to verify its cogency. Let us also add, straight away, that Dina Recanati's work must be understood as an act of survival, a rampart allowing her to assume her own existence, while at the same time expressing faith in the vitality of the existential forces driving her and in her capacity to develop a personal vision and create a work whose existence lies before it .

To understand what supports the foundation of a work that has long matured before reaching the metaphysical qualities we now see in it, we must return to Dina's early childhood. She was born in Cairo in 1928. Her father, Albert Hettena, was a talented violinist who nevertheless studied at the Ecole des Travaux Publics in Paris before he became, back in Cairo, Chief Engineer at the Egyptian Railroad System. He married Suzanne Lévi Iskandari, whose passion for music arose during her studies in a French convent. The family's peaceful and comfortable life was abruptly shattered by the father's sudden death, leaving a 28 year-old widow and two orphans: Dina, who was then aged five, and her elder brother Ronnie, who was going to have to assume the role of man of the house. Without really being able to grasp the full meaning of the event, Dina had to cope also with the fact that her father's memory was never mentioned at home, as if he had been erased from memory forever.

In her memoirs, Dina notes: His body was buried together with his memories, I never really knew who he was . Three months later, her uncle Benjamin, too, died an untimely death from a heart attack, and the shadow of death never stopped hovering over the family ever since. The loss of her father, but also this absence of memory, were a traumatizing experience which would many years later define and shape Dina Recanati's artistic path. Reading her memoirs, in which she writes about various events that influenced her childhood and adolescence and describe a semblance of normalcy, I was surprised to discover a scene that, although seemingly unimportant, had nevertheless been engraved in her memory. This memory takes place in the family's new house, on the balcony, where she often used to play with her brother: There, sometimes, a ‘milan’ (bird of prey found in Egypt) would dive into my snack, snatching it away from me, without so much as touching me. These birds resembled large crows and would often circle where there was food. The milan's resemblance to the crow, as mentioned by Dina, reminded me of the famous translation error in Sigmund Freud's book "Leonardo da Vinci and a Memory of Childhood", an error which gave rise to major controversies in the worlds of psychoanalysis and art. But beyond these controversies, and beyond Freud's analysis which related to very different circumstances, it would seem that in both cases, these childhood memories have a profound symbolic meaning. Leonardo's memory goes as follows: "… while I was in my cradle a vulture came down to me, and opened my mouth with its tail, and struck me many times with its tail inside my lips ". Without dwelling on the meaning of Leonardo's dream, it is interesting to note that he was an illegitimate child who never knew his father, and that his early childhood was probably dominated by his young mother. As for Dina, the memory of the 'milan' can be interpreted as a symbol of the successive deprivations due to her father's death. The account of birds flying in circles where there was food is of course a real memory, but the fact that this memory was retained over such a long time indicates the symbolic value of this overhanging threat, which could, at any moment, deprive her of food and hence from the very basis of her existence. This feeling of existential fragility is confirmed in the way Dina's account continues: On the balcony wall, my brother… carved an unsuccessful bull’s-eye, which he turned into a mask to cover the holes. Thus the brother, unable to create a bull's-eye – to reach his goal – transformed it into a mask behind which he could hide. In other words, the brother did not really succeed in taking on the father's role, and the mask symbolizes the memory of a disappeared paternal presence thereafter assumed by the brother. This explanation is in a way confirmed by Dina herself, when she writes: I began to perceive him as the responsible and wise older brother on whom one could count. Dina was to find this kind of support years later, in her husband Raphaël, which allowed her to create works that were full of questioning and soul searching but also contained many certainties.

But before we go any further in analyzing the repercussions of her father's death on the artist's work, let us review some positive experiences from her childhood and early adolescence in Egypt, the signs of which appear in her later works. First and foremost is the Nile and its ships, which … attracted like a magnet. Gliding on the river were the Fellucas with their huge sails, those same boats used since ancient Egypt were still sailing the river. Four thousand years had not altered their lines or their grace. The memory of these sails can be seen in later works in the loose canvases freely floating in space, blown this time by the breath of artistic creation. But the major experience was that of the pyramids. Reminiscing her experience when she contemplated them, Dina writes: One felt in total communion with these gigantic structures, emerging from the sand, … It was a magical moment. History was all around. A little further out was the Sphinx in all his majesty and splendor… At the time I had not realized the power of the impact, and the influence this experience would have on me. The memory of these repeated visits to the pyramids was to be echoed later on in Dina Recanati's architectural sculpture, in her "Portals" and "Columns". Confronted since early childhood with the monuments of this grandiose and mysterious civilization, she learned an unforgettable lesson: beyond the visible and beyond the reality of this world, lie invisible powers and it is these powers that endow matter and the various structures of the real with a soul. Ever since, Dina looks in inanimate matter for that invisible source that fills it with spiritual meaning.

When in Egypt, Dina never had the opportunity to be confronted with the West and with modern art; such an encounter was only to take place after she left Egypt, in 1946, for Great Britain, and then two years later for New-York, which was to become her home. She studied art and started to exhibit her works in the mid-sixties. We shall briefly review the different stages in a journey covering 40 years of creation, during which Dina has rigorously pursued her search for an inner truth, a search which became to her a daily need. She found words to describe the contradictions and the pain, but also the hopes that accompanied her along this journey, with all its inherent ups and downs: I deal with the human condition, with exaction and despair – with dreams fulfilled and with dreams shattered – with joy and with pain – with marks and with burns – with passive acceptance and with memory – with man’s capacity for rebuilding – his relentless struggle for survival – his built-in need for continuity. It is by recounting the different stages of her work that we can best understand her current phase, which is a sort of summary that encompasses all past experiences, a work freed from the world's reminders and dedicated to spirituality in quest for an invisible infinity.

AN ARCHISCULPTURE BETWEEN FRAGILITY AND CONTINUITY

As a sculptor, Dina Recanati began very soon to work on space and on endowing it with meaning through architectural structures. In 1968 she created "Opening", a bronze sculpture with green patina. This work features a vertical panel that rests on the ground, a gaping, half-open door, showing an opening. In the upper part, in relief, an embossed shape of a sharp, tapered blade crosses the panel diagonally. The opening, which is loaded with symbolic meanings, is simple, full of mystery, and makes you think of the entrance of an archaic temple.

In 1972 Dina created a bronze ensemble she called "Jerusalem Crown", thus inaugurating several series of works we shall refer to as "archisculptures". "Opening" was still a frontal work, but "Jerusalem Crown" is composed of a series of five columns around and between which the viewer can freely move.

Dina truly takes possession of space in this work, and by doing so she joins in with one of art's major preoccupations in the seventies. There is a striking contrast between the sight of these columns, which seem to be falling apart, and the work's title, "Jerusalem Crown". These columns are reminiscent of time-worn ruins, invoking the partly collapsed structures of an ancient temple. Dina carries with her the memory of the Egyptian monuments she visited in her youth, she reminds herself of those ruins that witness the greatness of a bygone past and analyzes with precision her own motives: I deal with memories of the past of antiquities, but she immediately adds: I do not want to show destruction, yet we constantly confront it, and to avoid any possible ambiguity she concludes: I do not deal with disappearance but with continuity. But Dina is not fully satisfied with this affirmation and finds the key to this deep inner attraction to ruins, which is anything but romantic: I see ruins as some vestige of past achievements that had to end to allow new beginnings. Dina thus visualizes the cycle of life and death which she so painfully experienced in her early childhood, discovers that "past" does not necessarily mean oblivion and that it is only by cultivating the memory of the past that Man can build his own identity. Backtracking to the source of her twofold loss – her father's death and the forgetfulness that accompanied his disappearance – Dina conveys to us her deep conviction regarding what she feels must be done when such a tragedy occurs: To channel all your energies in creativity, to fight loss with creativity, death with life (1975). Although there is something reassuring about the presence of vestiges of the past – they manifest a certain continuity of human existence – they also reveal the fragility of existence and its ephemeral nature. This existential uncertainty has deeply influenced Dina's work. After a first period in which she attempted to represent this fragility in solid bronze, Dina realized that she had to represent that fragility by using fibers of a material that was in itself fragile and ephemeral. This is how she came to choose, as her sculpting material, thin sheets of veneer which she could assemble in superposed layers, or press like paper, or tint as she wanted. These veneer sheets conveyed a feeling of fragility by their sheer thinness; but they also had a flexibility that made them vibrate. To create volume, Dina had to piece together a large number of sheets, suggesting a friability of matter and an uncertainty of form, as if it were possible to peel the form and penetrate the heart of that transient reality (ill. 3). The discovery of this material allowed Dina Recanati to develop a new formal language that corresponded to her search for a pictorial reality that united the continuity of a visual memory with the frailness of a material existence that could disappear any moment. Henceforward, all of Dina Recanati's work is based on the difficult and contradictory balance between construction and destruction, appearing and disappearing, memory and oblivion, life and death. Indeed, the architectural structures she conceives belong to a dynamic of continuity and survival; but her veneer sheets are the purest expressions of that which is ephemeral and transitory. Dina notes in this context: My work in the wood veneer is like sand work, earth work, they got blown by the wind and washed of by the rains. When she wrote these words, Land art had brought about in the U.S. the notion of a work of art's material non-permanence and existence in the form of documented memory.

Recanati built the continuity of her work with materials which were not "time-resistant", knowing that her work's continuity will eventually depend on the strength of its spiritual message. Wooden "Portals" and "Columns" marked the eighties with their presence; they became the distinctive signs of an original work of a personality that had been strengthened by the process of overcoming the pain and the sorrow experienced in childhood. Very soon Dina felt the need to fill this universe, whose verticalness assumed memory and oblivion at the same time, with an additional internal dialectic. She chose to use color symbolism, and particularly red, black and white. She noted the associations that each of these colors arose in her: Red : Life, blood, passion, pulse ; Black : dark forces, unknown night ; White : innocence, purity, belief. In a work such as "The Three Pillars" (ill.4), each pillar has its own color and it is through the interaction of their respective symbolic meanings that the work's complex message can be deciphered and that a harmony-generating equilibrium of forces can be established. The contradictory forces brought into play by Recanati are engaged in an endless struggle which none of them can win, but which has a clear impact on the character of the pillars, whose lower part is enlarged like the roots of a tree, as the top opens upwards like a hope for flowering. We suddenly realize that these pillars are no longer ruins and have metamorphosed into beings full of life –  visual metaphors summing up man's existential difficulties. The beauty, full of simplicity and mystery, must not make us forget that they stem from a deep inner need, which Dina explains as follows: I was always in search of something strong to build upon – until I realized that those columns had to be in me. The column thus became the reconstructed memory of a loss, it is the symbolic representation of that paternal support which failed her, its roots dive into the soil of oblivion and its trunk rises towards the infinity of a space full of promise. This may be the reason why the artists chose to call one of them "Prayer". After its first appearance in Recanati's work, the column transcends the level of personal meaning and reaches that of a universal message. Referring to works such as "Elevation" (1985) which is composed of two columns, she explains: The name suggest reaching out, rising in the course of civilization, marching on, in the process of time and progress – elevating. The initial spark of Recanati's work was a loss and personal pain, and then rekindled by the encounter with the monumental vestiges of ancien Egypt. Sublimating these experiences, Dina succeeded in developing an outlook on the future of Man and society in general.
Throughout the years, Dina created a certain number of works designed for public spaces. For these works she replaced wood veneer with painted sheets of aluminum. This modification, however, did not alter the nature of her work, which maintained its characteristic fragile and ephemeral nature.
Working with wood took Recanati in new directions, as she could no longer ignore the fact that these columns were in a way a modern version of a tree, that natural column loaded from time immemorial with multiple symbolic meanings. She considered this process and described it as follows: To me the process is a sort of backward progression in the chronicles of the tree. As if the sculpture drains from the strength of the unraveling tree trunk. In a way the tree starts in the forest, it is cut, made into veneer and returns to be a tree in sculpture. Having amply worked in and with space, and having gotten to know wood in its most intimate texture, it was only natural for the idea of a forest to present itself to her. In 1988 she created a monumental environment called "Forest" made of wood and wood veneer (ill. 5). This time she left the wood its original color and texture and created several vertical groups between which narrow passageways allowed just enough space to move inside the ensemble. The effect is gripping; it is a world of silence that offers itself to us, a primordial and appeasing space in its humble yet proud unity. Analyzing the concept of forest, Dina first noted: Forest is defined in terms of space, use, partial enclosure, size, idea of mobility, arrival, departures, inner and outer and in-between. In the "Pillars" series, the columns created a point in space around which the viewer could revolve, whereas in "Forest" we find a maze-like universe, we enter a different world that closes on us and in the heart of which we seek an inner truth, maybe even a revelation. Dina wrote: The "Forest" for me is a place where we sit and ponder and listen to our own inner voice, an oasis perhaps where we the travelers catch our breath on our continuous voyage. The forest is therefore, for Dina, a place for meditation. But it is also more than that, for in the eighties Dina said: I believe I build in the wood environment my own sanctuary. A place for my survival. From one work to the next, tirelessly, Dina is preoccupied with survival, which makes her say: Every creation is an act of faith in one self. This affirmation is valid for any artist, but for Dina Recanati, this feeling is deeply anchored in the very roots of her being, it is like oxygen without which there is no life. Recanati's archisculpture is a material and spatial manifestation whose goal is essentially spiritual; and even if its origins basically lie in the artist's early experiences, it turns into a universal message codified in a contemporary art language with very particular echoes.

DECIPHERING THE INVISIBLE

At the same time as she was working on her archisculptures, Dina Recanati also discovered the compact mystery of the book, an object in which aligned signs are kept to preserve man's thoughts and actions, his dreams and his visions. Dina created several works dealing with this theme; at first she worked with the book – the object itself – and then she re-created it in bronze (ill. 6). Finally she reached a book made of sheets of raw veneer, a brittle and frail material softened by humidity and impregnated with colors that penetrate the wood fibers (ill.7).

For Dina, these compacted sheets of veneer form the physical carrier of messages erased by time and lost in the mystery of oblivion. Once more she takes the idea of visual archives reduced to silence and buried in the sands of the past, and creates her own vision of a book, pointing at the painful and continuous loss of the past spiritual treasures kept in it. Dina Recanati undertakes archaeological excavations in the deep layers of our collective unconscious, in order to bring back to the surface treasures that lay there from time immemorial. She then tackles the question of deciphering these invisible messages and realizes that the greatest mystery of all is the very existence of the book itself, this memory-transmitting object, this first artificial brain, this extracorporeal organ which supports us when our memory fails us and preserves past memories in order to transmit them to future generations. The book is the guaranty of our continuity and the source of our identity. Dina impregnates the pages of her books with a personal sensitivity tinted with the colors of the earth and the sky. These half-open pages are filled  with expressive colored messages emanating pain but also an urgency that nothing can quell. These color ideograms animate the foliated structure of these books, transformed in the heat of action into painted objects. These books suddenly speak but their spiritual messages do not require words to be expressed; indeed, they are written in the very flesh of these pages and it is thanks to this union of matter and spirit that we can perceive their profound significance. The pages carrying these messages have were damaged due to the tribulations of time; they were often burnt and destroyed by those who feared the humanistic messages they so ardently kept. To compensate for all these losses, Dina reinvents a personal memory in which pain and hope coexist. She invites us not only to look at her works but also to touch and feel them. This multifaceted reading of the work is not easy and each and every one of us will have to follow the streaks of color like an Ariadne's thread leading to the center of the labyrinth where the Minotaur is, to decipher the mystery. Each new work of Recanati's brings us back to the intimacy of our own experience, like a mirror reflecting our image and forcing us to introspect. This inward movement is the primary condition for a fertile dialog with these enigmatic works, which are silent and yet have an expressiveness about them that relates to us and touches us. The idea of the book is developed by Dina Recanati with her "Diaries" series from the end of the eighties (ill. 8). Rolls of wooden sheets are tied together with ropes and assembled vertically, reminding the viewer of ancient manuscripts long lost and forgotten. Already in the Parchments (ill. 9) created in the beginning of the eighties, raw or painted sheets of wood, unbound, accumulated one of top of the other, were suggesting more ancient reminiscences, like the manuscripts in that library from the beginning of Christianity discovered in 1942 in Nag Hammadi, in the sands of the Egyptian desert, or the Dead Sea scrolls found in the Qumran caves in 1947. In "Diaries", the idea of abandon and oblivion is doubled by that of an enrolled mystery that is closed down and inaccessible, forever sealed in these elongated scrolls. Let us recall in this context Choreh Feyzdjou (1955-1996), a Jewish Iranian artist who died in Paris and who was, like Dina Recanati, torn between the Muslin, the Jewish and the Western heritage. Feyzdjou wrote: … It is true that I remain Jewish and Iranian, no matter whether I live over here or back there…. I think of my work as belonging to the imaginary and utopian universe of man born into the world… . Almost like an echo, Dina Recanati wrote: Egypt had been good to me, I loved the Egyptians… Although not an Arab Egyptian. I had felt at home. In another passage she writes: I feel like a Jew. I go through inner pogroms and emerge alive and more committed than ever as a human being (January 1972). Dina Recanati did not know the work of Feyzdjou, although this artist's works and Dina's own "Diaries" were created in the same period, but I think she would have identified with the following words by Feyzdjou: This is how it feels: a wish to lose everything and to convince yourself that nothing is lost. That there are possible recoveries of the void. To shape things with remains and debris, to damage in order to resuscitate, to lose in order to save… to risk and to gamble. We shall have to bear these words in mind when we discuss Recanati's current work, and we shall be able to even better understand the deep driving forces that bring these two artists close together, beyond the fact that they are both extremely original artists. In "Products of Choreh Feyzdjou" (ill. 10), an extremely dense work so tragic that it is nearly suffocating, the artist presents, among other things, cases, boxes and bottles containing various objects, all covered in black. These products seem to us like residual traces of some nameless catastrophe; and in the center of that desolate universe we see numerous paintings by the artist, now rolled and therefore inaccessible. These blackened rolls enclose images which are now invisible; their existence is that of a memorized and documented reality.

For Dina Recanati, books, scrolls and rolls are objects into which we can enter mentally, step by step, layer by layer, or in a circular way. They invite the viewer to dream; these are objects whose invisible density can be imagined and whose content needs not be seen for its existence to be known. The essential thing is to know that inside lies the well of our collective memory, the source of our identity, the precious mines whose treasures spark our imaginary, and that together they are like an ocean touching upon the shores of the continents of humanity. A vehicle of language and of other coded messages, the book has fascinated many contemporary artists, as it represented an alternative to the image which was going through crisis and mutation. To Recanati, the series of books, scrolls and rolls were the necessary complement to the series of columns and arches, the former serving as a link between men, the latter being a link between the earth and the sky. On the crossroads of these horizontal and vertical paths stands Man, assuming his past and at the same time opening up a path towards the future. Recanati's art represents an act of continuity, an effort to organize existential chaos, an act of survival, an eternal starting over. After having explored all the forms of books, scrolls and rolls, after having bound, tied, and enrolled them, after having painted and tinted them, after having created and re-created them in Styrofoam, bronze, aluminum and wood, in the form of compact objects, or objects enlarged to architectural dimensions, Dina sets on a new path, while maintaining her fundamental idea that an object that carries inside it an invisible mystery is truer and stronger than any image that offers only its surface to us. Dina therefore introduced the canvas into her formal repertoire, but does not only paint its surface; she also uses it to envelop various everyday items, which she hides and conceals from sight to transform them into carefully tied bundles. These works received concrete names such as "Bundles", "Diaries" or "Archives", and others with more poetic and revealing names such as "Sentinel" (ill. 11) and "Night Watch". These bundles are always rounded or rectangular in shape, made of canvases tinted or painted in a mix of ochers, blues and a rich spectrum of gray. These bundles are evocative of endless tribulations, looking tired and dusty, and they make us think of men and women around the world who bundle up their things before setting on the road to their destinies. Here, again, Dina brings to our reflection the meaning of the bundle; the bundle is a visual metaphor of modern man who became once more a nomad on our planet, an exiled man leaving his homeland, a refugee fleeing a conflict or a natural disaster he is victim of. The bundle is the symbol par excellence of the uprooted who lost his home and carries on his back a few articles gathered in haste to assure his survival. The bundle reflects worry, insecurity, things temporary, instability, it is what's left of a home that is definitively lost, a mobile object with varying contents to which one desperately clings. The amorphous bundle which envelops the residues of an existence is the last haven, the homeless person's last hope before the shroud of death covers his body. Each bundle tells the mystery of an existence torn from its land and thrown onto the road to the unknown. Recanati's bundles, beyond their individual existence, were also assembled in a work called "Diaries" (ill. 12), a work testifying to man's existential fragility in general. This work is formed of two groups of bundles, one forming a small mound on the ground, as if those carrying the bundles have stopped to rest during their peregrination, and another overhanging the first group, suggesting a threat that could strike any moment, like dark ominous clouds portending some future or imminent calamity. With this work, Dina masterly sums up the tragic aspect of the human condition which she presents to us with great simplicity of means, thus expressing her great compassion for the other.


Elaborating on the concept of the bundle, Recanati also created "Archives" (ill. 13), a monumental wall made of rectangular bundles tied with steel wire. Contrary to the idea of the book, which is an object of dialog whose pages are designed to be flipped and looked into, archives are by essence places where memory is only contained –  enclosed, sealed, reduced to passiveness, tucked away, asleep, covered by the dust of time, buried in the darkness of oblivion. Archives are graveyards where lie the ultimate remainders of our societies' codified messages. They are classified chronologically but otherwise undifferentiated, piled, packed, buried in the deep of the night of time. Archives remind us of a bygone past, and we sometimes raise the corner of the veil covering that past to peep in. Dina erected this sort of monument dedicated to archives knowing that beyond their mystery, their existence is crucial to be able to fill the gaps, the failures, the lacunae and the amnesia of our collective memory. Archives allow us to go back along the timeline to discover what we did not know and rediscover what we had forgotten.

The theme of archives has interested contemporary artists such as Boltanski (ill.14), Darboven (ill. 15) or On Kawara, who showed the objective aspects and the accumulating structures of their endless growth. Recanati revealed to us their tragic and indispensable nature. These archived bundles are as mysterious as they are ephemeral. This mystery of the invisible has attracted many a modern artist, starting with Man Ray, who published in 1924 in the first issue of "La révolution surréaliste"  the photo called "The Enigma of Isidore Ducasse" (ill.16). The form of that thing enveloped in a blanket and tied with ropes, and the name that Man Ray gave it, suggest something that escapes our eyes and remains enigmatic. In the same line of thought, Christo created in the beginning of the sixties a series of bundles containing objects from consumer society. These objects' identity is often preserved and they are thus transformed by that which covers them; sometimes they remain anonymous, tied inside the packaging that makes them invisible (ill.17). It is interesting to compare Recanati's overhanging bundles in "Diaries" with the huge suspended bundle installed by Kounellis in 1997 in the Museum Ludwig / Halle Kalk in Cologne (ill. 18). Both artists had the same intuition and the same wish to express the bundle's weight and to make it visible while keeping its contents concealed. In spite of the different context of each of these works, both are expressive of the moral responsibility felt by the artists in the face of history and their time.

The work of Korean artist Soo-Ja Kim is close, in more than one way, to that of Dina Recanati's. Soo-Ja Kim's bundles, made of Korean clothes in lively colors (ill. 19), are a direct expression of the concept of a journey. Indeed, the artist herself says: … that in Korea, "to bundle" means "to leave a place", or "to go further" . Soo-Ja Kim considers that her "Bottari" (bundles) mean New ways of imparting buried memories and pains, as well as the silent passions of life . Dina Recanati's bundles, too, are expressive of loss, pain, separation, uprooting. These two artists' bundles are marked with the circumstances of their lives and with the different generations and cultures to which they belong, but what they have in common is the weight of their suffering and the difficulty they have in assuming their existence. If they succeed, it is thanks to their art and to those bundles they carry in the hope of finding a haven of tranquility. Bundles are naturally short-lived, which is why it is necessary to open them once in a while to take out those objects that are indispensably necessary to continue the peregrination until the next stop. Dina Recanati's present exhibition tells the story of this artistic unpacking which is, no doubt, a courageous act of resignation, but which also allows for the birth of new hopes. By opening the bundles Dina knows that she is acting in a logic that is contrary to that of packing and sealing them; in other words, she admits that they were from the start a provisional reality. Now it's all about how to generate, out of the provisional chaos of unbundling, a new order inspired by the artist's creative imagination. Thus begins a new cycle of this work which will carry the traces and memories of its past, but which will be metamorphosed by the vision of a future full of promise.OPEN BUNDLESRecanati unties the ropes that kept the bundle closed, opens the bundle and empties it of its content, flattening the canvas which was used to wrap it up. The bundle no longer has volume or shape and the mystery concerning its invisible contents seems to have been dispelled. In a way, the bundle has been deflated, and only its material envelop still testifies to its past existence (cat. 3). The surface of the canvas shows brown tonalities forming a vertical block with amorphous contours, which is crisscrossed by unequal horizontal and vertical lines and cut transversally by short striae. These lines in negative look almost like gigantic scars crisscrossing a body from end to end. They testify to the previous presence of ropes and folds in the canvas, back when they still served to form a bundle. The loss of the bundle is compensated by the appearance of a monumental work, strengthened by a truth that is presented in its initial state. In the "Open Bundles" series, Dina decides to take risks. She forgoes the existence of one of her own works, accepting in a way its symbolic death, to be able to give birth to something else, something that emerges from within that work. Dina applies the principle of the cycle of life and death to her own work. Already in 1984, she said that creativity is often reconstruction; she is aware that recycling of materials from earlier works allows for new approaches, and in a text written much before this series, she analyzed this situation: We sometimes seem to make essence out of accidents or we confer a defining function upon external properties. I believe the use of accident is not accidental, it is unconsciously designed. Therefore, there is in this series a realization that the act of creation sometimes has consequences that cannot be anticipated, and that the artist must keep listening to her inner voice which will lead her to shores she did not know existed.

Dina continues to flatten the canvases of her bundles and understands that she has returned to painting; she has had this experience several times, and we shall return to it later. For the moment she feels the need to recall the three-dimensional world of her bundles and to invoke the mystery of their contents. The painted canvases of the bundles having lost their initial function, Dina thinks of a new meaning she could endow them with in the framework of a pictorial reality. In the middle of the large rectangular canvases tacked to the wall, she installs a T-shaped wooden structure on which she fixes canvases whose folds drape according to a rhythm she gives them (cat. 4, 5, 6, 7). These canvas sections are tinted, like those serving as background, with shades of violets, browns and blues mixed with a rich range of gray, and seem to be hanging from the shoulders of an invisible body. These draperies attached to an invisible structure reminded me of a painting by Albrecht Dürer I saw some time ago in Vienna's Albertina (ill. 20). In this painting, the drapery begins from the head of a woman seen from the back and covers her entirely. The figure stands out with white reflections from a black background tinted in violet-gray. The effect is of great sobriety; Dürer focuses on the representation of this drapery and the mystery of the invisible body it covers. Dina Recanati confers to her drapery a mystery that blends in the background – both having a very similar range of colors – but which nevertheless stands out due to the relief, which creates a interplay of light and shade. In other works (cat. 1, 2), the bundle seems free of the ropes but not yet emptied of its content, which still hides behind the painted and expressive folds of the canvas. These works are related to Magritte's painting "The Lovers" (ill. 21) where the heads are covered with a canvas that hides their details but not their existence. Magritte, that great magician of the presence of the invisible, created several paintings on this theme.

Dina Recanati continues this series by using these painted canvases in space and by making them drape from the top of a column which is the size of a man (cat. 10) The column appears, but the work's dramatic power resides in this mass of fabric attached to the top of the column and in the folds that drape and reach the ground. A sculpture by Donatello, called "Habakuk" (ill. 22), reveals a structure and even a coloring scheme which are strangely close to Recanati's work. In both sculptures, the heavy folds falling from the canvas have a presence that asserts itself independently of their respective bases. Without aiming for it consciously, Dina Recanati's intuition brought her back to the very sources of European artistic tradition which she had the opportunity to study during her numerous trips.TOTEMWith this work, Dina Recanati seems to have open a few bundles, and exchanged their malleable contents with rigid structures which she wrapped in recycled or especially painted canvases, and partly tied with ropes (Cat. 11). The top of these inclined totems leans against the gallery's wall in a carefully elaborated order, only seemingly chaotic. Let us go back to the source of this idea, which Dina started to elaborate since 1989 in her work "Leaning" (ill. 23). Bear in mind that this was the period when she created, among other things, the "Forest" environment. This is how she described this work at the time: A leaning, making the composition active in a way. The wall is purposeful and that sculpture will not hold without the wall…. This work is not mute – Here I am not dealing with mass, but with space… The interaction between the shapes and their environment. In "Totem" the principle remained the same, but having created her bundles in the meantime, she feels the need to create a different invisibility than in "Leaning", which was composed of long closed rolls attached with ropes. In American-Indian beliefs, the Totem is a sacred object which marks a place, assuming the symbolic role of a link to higher forces. It generates order by regulating nature's chaos. Recanati's totems are not vertical, they are not yet active but rather await some future spiritual function. These are totems in reserve, they represent transition, maybe even uncertainty. Since they only exist thanks to the wall, they assume an unstable position and have about them an expression of fragility but also of possible continuity.

SAMURAI

This cycle continues that of the "Open Bundles", but starts new directions. In these works, the T-shaped horizontal and vertical structure is not only visible but also clearly controls the artist's work. A vertical bar creates a sort of a spine located in the middle of the work, whereas the horizontal bar defines the work's width and upper limit. Whereas in the "Open Bundles" cycle the artist recycles canvases from her previous bundles, in the "Samurai" cycle the artist utilizes old or recent paintings which she cuts into wide straps affixed horizontally from the upper bar and whose two ends fall down in a right angle. What we see here is the opposite process of "Open Bundles". Recanati uses cut and painted canvas taken from paintings to create three-dimensional works which nevertheless have a frontal character. In addition, these works do not have a flat and rectangular background; each has a free form derived from the previous structure as defined by the artist. These objects are highly analogous with samurai costumes (ill. 24), which are equally made of horizontal striate strips accompanied by a large cape that rests on the warriors' shoulders. These works convey strong will and inner tension, there is something sharp and almost aggressive about them which creates an eloquent contrast with the spiritual softness of the draperies in "Open Bundles". The works in these two cycles have this in common, that they represent metaphors for a human presence and are the result of a transformation process, leading from the destruction of a pictorial reality to the rise of a new artistic reality, the latter reality being derived from the former. The "Samurai" cycle also invokes the memory of Japan through the clear dominance of the blue color used by Dina Recanati and known in Japan in its vegetal version, the indigo. Let us quote a few passages from a text dedicated to this cycle: … he who will have submitted his senses to test of indigo, …will know the infinite miracles of the indigo blue, its indescribable virtues and their myriad variations… the eye quivers at the memory of such a pale passage of blue… at the end of the range there are the black blues, dark blues with more harsh and brutal sonorities… This natural indigo is erased, takes on shadows, and makes the warp and the weft of the canvas it colors glimmer and shine. It possesses the unutterable quality of reflecting passing or evanescent nature... Japan takes delight in the transient Dina Recanati was able to find in these blues, which range from pale to black-blue, the richness of the indigo blue which can be written in Japanese in twenty five different ways, and she undertook this deep journey into the universe of indigo blue , by simply following the blues of the sky and of the sea or just those found in dreams. The "Samurai" cycle (cat. 12-18) comprises five object in relief and two sculptures, each work forming an indissoluble unity created by their material, shape, color and meaning. These works are neither painted objects nor paintings turned into objects, but they are the result of a simultaneous fusion of all these dimensions and are as evident as are a butterfly's wings or a flower's petals.

FROM SYMBOLIC COLOR TO A PAINTING OF THE SUBLIME

Dina Recanati has for a long time explored materials and space before taking the royal road of color. The first experience took place during an involuntary suspension of her activity as sculptor in 1980. Paper in different colors and a pair of scissors were the beginning of a group of abstract serigraphs that had warm Mediterranean colors reminiscent of the sand and the sky, day and night, the undulation of the earth and of water (ill. 25). These works were meditations on the infinity of space and color's magical power, and equally express the absolute of nature and the swirl of the soul. When she created a little later her first painted columns, she discovered the symbolic meaning of colors such as red, black and white, which she used to intensify her spatial structures. In her books, scrolls and rolls, created mostly with sheets of wood but sometimes also aluminum, she began to use color to impregnate the wood with fine tint or transparencies, or to splash them onto these objects with color to load them with its inherent expressive urgency. The real experience of color therefore arises from her desire to reinforce her sculptures' message, to endow them with a vocabulary of colored signs that would load them with meaning as well as emotion. It was only in the end of the eighties that Dina created a series of works she called "Pour and Drip paintings" (ill. 26) which she never exhibited. We must however dwell a little more on these works, as they follow up her use of color in sculpture and prepare her future utilization of color in the "Bundles", "Diaries" and "Archives" series. This cycle of paintings is also important because it heralds others, indicating the artist's growing interest in painting, both as an independent activity and as an expressive means she used as an organic part of her sculpting. The techniques used by Recanati in her "Pour and Drip paintings" were not new, since Jackson Pollock, Morris Louis and Helen Frankenthaler had already used them, but for a sculptor accustomed to the heaviness and constraints of other materials, their mobility and lightness must certainly have represented a moment of freedom. It is also interesting to note that Dina chose to group some of her paintings in diptyches or in larger groupings to endow them with an architectural metered structure and to distance them from the notion of a easel painting, which she never practiced. The spatial conception of these works corresponds with her main preoccupation at the time. The next step came when Recanati started to work on a new series of paintings called "Firmament" (ill. 27), which she exhibited for the first time at the Tel Aviv museum in 2001. In her diary, Dina notes: As of march 1992, I have finished 7 large canvases 350 cm X 250 cm, also 5 smaller ones 250 cm X 200. Colors: to get ripples. Pour paint over when still a bit wet. Up to 24 hours. To get transparencies – pour much diluted colors over existing color. Kaki over black – Black over Kaki – Pink over purple. This time the paintings were not mounted on stretchers and Dina simply lay them on the ground to paint. These works prepared her for the entire series of "Bundles", "Diaries" and "Archives", and some of them later became part of these cycles. She used colors in which the earth's ochre-sienna is mixed with the blue-black of night sky, and the morning's white illumination is contrasted with a cloud's threatening grays. These "Informelle" paintings are like battlefields where telluric powers fight, they make me think of the chaos of Genesis before the earth was distinguished from the sky, night from day, the sun from water, that is to say, before the appearance of the living. Dina Recanati creates paintings without up or down, where everything is movement, paintings that show all the pain of the soul, echo all the struggles that are fought; but her paintings are also ready to face the tumult of the external world without despairing. She has been carrying their truth in her for very long, for already in 1980 she wrote: I am engaged in a process of rebuilding, of creating order after the chaos, it is given to man and woman to begin again. A process of reconstruction, seeking the strength to mold smoke and ashes into a new world. Dina lets us see the storm that agitates her inner world and she notes this citation of Confucius: After the storm blows, then you know how strong is the grass, and she comments: We are all survivors of some terrible storm. In one of her first notebooks she wrote: Torment, pains, you who tear the soul apart, you who tear the gut apart, are you the wind, the sublime storm which makes creation? Painting was a necessity, it allowed Recanati to stare at the image of these invisible swirls of the soul, and to engrave them in memory in spite of their elusive fluidity, in spite of the chaos of their contradictions. After the sublime storm of this painting, Recanati was able to resume the course of her work by reuniting, in remarkable symbiosis, spirit and matter, transient and solid, flexible and rigid, light and shade, visible and invisible, life and death, the future and the past.COSMOS, BETWEEN MICRO AND MACRORecanati created the "Cosmos" cycle of paintings between 1999 and 2002. The cycle comprises over 150 paintings measuring 23,5 x 15,5 cm each, mounted on a block of black wood (cat. 19). This is how Dina describes the very particular process of this work: By 1999, I had developed the use of acid solutions enough to paint on small aluminum rectangular plates. I used diluted acids which, combined with metallic paints (iron, bronzes, copper, gave very exciting results. The intensity of the color often depends on how long you allow it to oxidize, anywhere from a few minutes to overnight. When I was satisfied with the level of oxidation, the pieces were carefully rinsed with water to wash the acid out and stop the process, dried and sealed with many layers of fixative. One has to watch the oxidation process, because time changes the color. One has to work fast. It is a challenge to control the process. In her work as sculptor, Dina learned to control the different states of matter in order to obtain the desired forms and textures. We can mention for example the patina of the bronze sculptures, which, too, changes over time. These works, reminiscent of miniatures from the Far-East, have a slight relief and the feeling is accentuated by the fact that the sheets of aluminum stand out from the black background, thus gaining a spatial dimension. Quite a long time elapsed since the "Firmament" cycle of paintings, and it seems that a certain serenity predominates the "Cosmos" cycle, and that Dina now watches the world from a certain distance. The cycle is presented to the public for the first time, as are the "Open Bundles" and "Samurai" cycles, which all point at the growing importance of color in the artist's current work. "Cosmos" describes a world in fusion, a whirl in which molten minerals flow in the cosmic void and are shaken by invisible currents. We could easily imagine that these images come from remote worlds which are now being shaped, but as easily we could have believed that we were watching an unidentified microscopic reality. In both cases these images transcend our everyday experience, not because they are defined as abstract but because they are reflective of a reality which is beyond our terrestrial order. These images are naturally the fruit of Recanati's imagination; indeed, they come from the depths of an intuition that compels the artist to seek realities beyond our visible world. Dina shows us the limitations of the visible and the unlimited space of the invisible universes. She allows us to participate in this zooming-in and zooming-out process, extending our vertical vision from the infinitely small to the infinitely large. Like a real art alchemist, Dina mixes metals and pigments, she supervises and controls in her laboratory the oxidation processes which will melt and fuse the elements into a unique reality which is both visual and spiritual. Each of these images is an infinitely rich universe. In each image the elements' interpenetration in movement and their celestial dance eventually reach a miraculous balance, and that moment of balance is the moment Dina chooses to stop the oxidation process and definitively freeze the image on the aluminum plate. Her previous works provided her with the necessary experience required to capture the provisional, the transient and the fluctuating, and give them an existence which, if not eternal, nevertheless allows for the message to be transmitted to other people, thus assuring the continuity which is the artist's main preoccupation. The road goes on and that's what matters.

 

 

 

All of Dina Recanati's citations in this text were taken from the artist's memoirs "Nearing" (hitherto unpublished), written in 1998-99, and from her diaries (unpublished), kept since 1960. I am grateful to the artist for allowing me to use these invaluable documents.
 
Freud, S., Leonardo da Vinci and a Memory of Childhood , SE, p.32.
Heart of darkness, Kröller-Müller Museum, Otterlo, 1994-5, p. 107
Leili Echgi, l’Indécidable, in Choreh Feyzdjou-Textes, 1994, p. 13
Das ganze Leben Bündeln, Hans-Ulrich Obrist, dans « Inklusion : Exklusion », Dumont, 1997, p. 254
Kim Airung, Soo-Ja Kim, einsame performance mit altem stoff, in « Echolot oder 9 fragen an die Peripherie», Museum Fridericianum, 1998, p. 6
Elisabeth Frolet, Le bleu et la ligne, in Japon Fiction, traverses 38-39, Revue du Centre de Création industrielle, Centre Georges Pompidou, 1986, p. 178-179.
ibid

↑ top