The Seventh Year
The Jerusalem Artist House, 2018
Curator: Uri Gershuni
The Seventh Year / Text by Uri Gershuni
Every seventh year since the creation of the world a person is commanded to give up his material assets, loosen his grip, and release them.
Shir Lusky's works evolve on the axis between possession (Heb. shlita) and concession (Heb. shmita, also denoting fallow year), between exerting control and letting go.
Like the meek of the earth and the animal of the field, she gathers all that was left and dropped, garnering that which was forgotten and storing it in her den for rainy days.The end of a rope, two rope ends, a round ball, iron struck while hot, a fifth wheel all these and more are cumulated in a jumble.When the pile threatens to spill over and seems out of control, Lusky takes the reins back into her hands. She selects, sorts,empties, and removes, leaving only the necessary minimum.
She responds to a voice from the recent past, to the ethics of modesty, to an ancient tradition of frugality. When the pile is diminished, the space is revealed in its nakedness. The sun beams cross the den.There is not longer darkness over the abyss; let there be light. Lusky bravely inserts her hand into the bowels of the dark chamber, turning it over as if it were a wool sock, to transform it into a space illuminated in white. In the white cube everything is ostensibly laid bare and nothing can be hidden, but Lusky is drawn to the dark corners, too; the secret is equally essential to her. Her objects strive to hide from the scorching, blinding sunlight; they draw into themselves, covering themselves with shadows.This is the only way she wants them.
Lusky's works position us, the viewers, between light and darkness, between positive and negative, revelation and concealment, heaven and hell. In this limbo we are called upon to long for the sweet taste of the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge or, alternatively, to repress its bitterness, to be naïve or over-conscious, to aspire for the infinite or come to terms with our ephemerality.