Moshe Ninio Glass II, 2012
Impression jet d'encre pigmentaire, 105,5 x 72 ,5 cm
Œuvre acquise en 2013 avec le concours d’un groupe de collectionneurs et la participation du Fram-Île-de-France
The mahJ is showing two cycles of recent works: Glass(es) (2010–11), Morgen (2010–2015) and its extension, Decor: morgen appendix (2015–16). Moshe Ninio’s “forensic” exploration of existing images transform historic relics—an object on display in a museum and a TV show filmed in the early 1960s—into disturbing abstractions.
Moshe Ninio, born in Tel Aviv in 1953, has established himself as a singular presence on the contemporary art scene. The few works he produces are the result of lengthy maturation and seek to shift the status of the image into another, polemical and spiritual realm.
Glass(es) was created from photographs of the bulletproof glass booth in which Adolf Eichmann sat during his trial in Jerusalem in 1961 (they are the first photographs ever taken from inside the booth). In an ordered sequence composed of three pieces, each a stage in a process of transition from photography to image, simple manipulations (duplication, superimposition) conjure the apparition of a ghostlike “stain” in the middle of the image.
Morgen, a two-screen video, was created for the Shibboleth exhibition at the Dvir Gallery in Tel Aviv, named after the eponymous poem by Paul Celan and a biblical episode (Judges 12, 4-6), in which failure to correctly pronounce the word “shibboleth” sentences members of Ephraim’s tribe to death. In 1965, Esther Ofarim was the first Israeli singer to perform on German television—in Israel this was regarded as an act of treason. She sang the hit song Morgen ist alles vorüber (Tomorrow Everything Is Over), whose lyrics she had learnt phonetically. The subtle changes Moshe Ninio made to the original video heighten the drama. The most “surgical” of these is his digital reworking of the original camera movement and focus on the fraction of a second in which the singer’s mouth contorts uncontrollably as she struggles to pronounce the word “muss” (must), a “lapsus” that becomes the climax of her performance.
Decor: morgen_appendix, the physical anchor of the video work, is a “remake” of a detail of the optical decor in which Esther Ofarim is performing.
Moshe Ninio has entitled his exhibition Lapse, in the sense of an interval of time but also in the sense of time-lapse photography, the condensing, compressing and accelerating of time frequently used in cinema. Thus the artist is inviting us to consider the effects of time on historic processes, like the effects of erosion on archaeological ruins.
The book accompanying this exhibition features contributions by Bernard Blistène, director of the Musée national d’Art moderne, Tal Sterngast, historian and art critic, and Gérard Wajcman, writer and psychoanalyst.