Anna Hayat and Slava Pirsky “Rifts, Joints, and Rifts”
30 April - 14 May 2023
Anna Hayat & Slava Pirsky’s “Rifts, Joints, and Rifts” features exquisite works created especially for the exhibition. Most are photographs are printed on fabric, some are fragmented and sewn by hand, while others are embroidered with threads flowing down. The stitches in the joined and torn images seem to throb with pain like a wounded body.
The large format photographs were made on outdated Polaroid film whose production ceased in 2007. The chemicals leave random stains, hinting at the future disintegration of the image, and leaving its marks. The works are reminiscent of early analog photography, but differ from it.
For the first time, the duo is exhibiting the sewn pieces, inspired by Kintsugi – the Japanese art of “golden joinery” (of broken pottery), emphasizing the joints, preserving the vessel’s history without attempting to conceal flaws. Using embroidery and stitching in the photographs creates works oscillating between 2-D and 3-D.
The artists are closely following the news of the war in Ukraine with great concern, as the fighting is directly impacting the lives of their friends and relatives. The works, with their loose embroidery, resonate a sense of urgency and injury.
The curator, Dr. Smadar Sheffi, writes: “The artistic language the duo developed since beginning to work together in 1999 conducts a continuous dialogue between photography and painting. The Death of Marat is a direct reference to French Neo-Classical painter Jean-Louis David’s La Mort de Marat (1793). The painting depicts Marat, one of the leaders of the French Revolution, murdered in his bathtub at home. David imbued the painting with Christian iconography (especially in its similarity to Michelangelo’s Pieta (1499), now in the Vatican). Hayat & Pirsky placed a wreath of peonies horizontally in a position of surrender as if defeated in battle, with patches, joints, and unraveled threads intensifying a melancholic feeling of despair arising from the image.”
*The premiere of this exhibition was held at the Contemporary Art Center, Ramle (CACR) curated by CACR head Dr. Smadar Sheffi.
Anna Hayat and Slava Pirsky have been working together since 1999.
Anna was born in Russia, and immigrated to Israel in 1994. She studied photography in The Hadassah Academic College, Jerusalem.
Slava was born in Russia, and immigrated to Israel in 1991. For the last 30 years he works at archeological restoring the appearance of historical buildings and objects based on found remains.
Now both based in Modi'in-Maccabim-Re'ut, Israel
The works of Anna Hayat and Slava Pirsky are photographed in a large format on Polaroid films, from which are developed a negative and positive momentarily after the shot. The chemicals left on the face of the negative at the end of the development process, leave a map of stains and marks, which changes from one negative to the other. This way, the action of controlled photography clears way for the random stains, which add a picturesque volume to the piece. Although this process damages the crisp quality of the image itself, it preserves the magic of analog photography, and gives back some of the aura that was attached to it when it was first seen.
The works of Hayat and Pirsky have won numerous prizes, including the Polaroid International Photography Award, IPA (International Photography Association) Award, Award from the Ministry of Immigrant Absorption, Award for portrait photography from the annual World Press Photo exhibition in Israel.