Ori Gersht: History Repeating

Al Miner, Text by (Art/Photo Books), Yoav Rinon, Text by (Art/Photo Books), Ori Gersht, Illustrator, Ronni Baer, Contribution by
Al Miner, with contributions by Ronni Baer and Yoav Rinon. MFA (mfa.org), $60 (256p) ISBN 978-0-87846-779-2
Reviewed on: 11/12/2012
Release date: 09/01/2012
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The work of Israeli photographer and video artist Ori Gersht is the subject of a major exhibition at Boston's Museum of Fine Arts, and this lavishly printed catalog accompanies the show. Two lengthy but plainspoken essays accompany the color plates, placing Gersht's work in artistic and historical context and examining his themes of time, violence, and memory. An interview with the artist, conducted by MFA curator Baer offers some excellent insights regarding Gersht's process and interests. As both Miner and Hebrew University literature professor Rinon describe, the pictures themselves, even at their most stark or abstract, create a tension between their beauty and the melancholy of their subjects. Gersht's series of exploded flowers are colorful and sharp, and oddly more approachable than the subdued, occasionally unsettling, and often obscured landscapes, which resist any easy interpretation. Some of the most compelling images are stills from Gersht's films, which might have been disappointing their stillness were it not for the vividness of the imagery and the beauty of the printing. In addition to 80 color plates, the essays and interview are amply and aptly illustrated. The catalog includes a brief biography and list of Gersht's exhibitions, a bibliography, list of illustrations, and checklist of the exhibition. (Oct.)
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