ESTHER NAOR’S A SUDDEN DARK BREEZE
By Naomi Barling
Artist Esther Naor’s newest work continues to investigate themes that have long fascinated her. The ideas of migration, deracinated traditions, and the shifting, individual experience of community and estrangement, connection and disjunction, are the driving forces behind all her sculpture, photography, and video works. BOSI Contemporary will be presenting a solo show called A Sudden Dark Breeze Over My Uncovered Skin featuring work by Esther Naor, some of which have never before been exhibited in New York starting April 29.
Esther Naor was born in 1961 in Tel Aviv, Israel. She graduated from the department of Civil Engineering at Haifa Technion Institute, and the department of Computer Sciences at Tel Aviv University. Following a career in engineering and computers, she made an unconventional move to study art at the Midrasha Art School in Kfar Saba and at several artists’ studios in Israel.
Naor uses her personal experiences of living in a country that is tangled in war and uncertainty to sensitively reflect upon its current political, social, and emotional state. She touches on the country’s complex history and the memories of her family as Iraqi Jews who immigrated to Israel. Her work always has a multi-layered narrative, often presented as installations; it is her striking, often surprising and personal images across a range of mediums that make her projects so memorable. Naor’s work confronts the good and evil in all of us, often evoking a kind of magical thinking that offers comfort, support, if not always rescue to its viewers. In a time when reality has become increasingly unbearable, she questions the strength and importance of art as well as the limits of human rationality.
“Although I focus on installations, my work involves also video and photography. I’m interested in issues of identity, social behavior, and physical and mental borders, but I always take something very personal as a point of departure. Such points have been my family personal history and its immigration from Iraq and integration in Israel, the tension and conflicts involved in my being both a mother and an artist, and personal traumas which influenced my artistic work,” says Naor.
There Wasn’t a Man, Woman, or Child I Could Lift a Finger for is an all white sculpture of a nude female, with a large cone hat holding onto an orange life preserver with a hopeless facial expression. The artwork is suspended dramatically from the ceiling and deals with the reality of having and losing control.
BOSI Contemporary will be showing these works from April 29, 2015 to May 30, 2015.