postcards from the edge
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Hottentot Gallery, Haifa
September 2001
Alejandra Okret, Postcards from the Edge
Hagai Segev

The work of Alejandra Okret has undergone a dramatic change in the last two years.  This change is marked by a new insight of the Israeli culture and through a course of integration into it, turning her from an immigrant to a local. Alejandra Okret's works of just a few years ago were scented with a personal, sensitive and moving idiom.  The iconography- if there was one -  was of an abstract nature, moving far away from a reality of any kind.  The subject matter was the line, the shape and the colour.  These were minimalist works that plucked the cords of  a sensitive soul, which pledges to express an innermost reality to the world outside.

 In the series of paintings “Postcards from the Edge”, the local political reality is put on the stand. Each painting becomes a witness to highlights of individual destiny, cut by a hard hand with the mattock of reality.
 The chisel of the media shapes a new reality – another chapter in the history of peoples and the clash of their cultures.  These are severe testimonies.
 The pictures on the papers or on the television transform the events to be part of the household, almost family members, in living rooms throughout the Country.  And so comes Art, using the most humble of means, and attempts to deal with images greater than any plastic portrayal .  This may be one of the reasons that the Israeli political reality is all but absent from the Visual Arts. After all, it surpasses anything that could be depicted in a painting or a statue.

It is this intricate tradition that Alejandra Okret has decided to face.  This is not an easy undertaking.  It seems that it arises from an intimacy that could have matured by reason of a cut from local conventions- conventions that hinder other native artists. And this is her power.

Hagai Segev

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