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Lucy Elkivity - Alejandra Okret, duet exhibition
curator Nir Harmat
Art Space, Tel Aviv
September 2022
Déjà vu / Duo exhibition / Lucy Elkivity & Alejandra Okret

Lucy Elkivity and Alejandra Okret’s jacaranda tree is illusory. The collaborative oeuvre on which the two artists have been working together since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic enfolds paradoxical qualities: beauty and pain, freshness and rot, live memory and fading memory. They are seeking to stop time and capture these polarized moments. Elkivity and Okret, who immigrated from Uruguay (separately) and share the same mother tongue, have been working side by side with a feeling of déjà vu activating the very mysterious presence emanating from their works, both together and each on her own.

The two artists contemplate the flowering of the jacaranda tree bearing with it distant lands and pastoral views that seem to be from another place. Its light violet hue was the starting point for the duo, although it is barely present in the works on view. The exhibition is an attempt to entrap visitors in the space of imaginative speculations and conscious recreations of memories. Their investigation of the purple blossoming’s rare beauty goes deep, and challenges it.

Elkivity’s large-scale collage shaped like the silhouette of a tree is composed of flickers of memories from her family album and photographs she took. The collage is made of cyanotype prints which have been manipulated, cut, and torn, the images fixed onto the paper after the negative was exposed to sunlight and took on a deep blue shade. The color extracts the photographed moments from the dimension of “reality” to transform the concept of time into something protected and indestructible.

Okret has created a Vanitas image as an installation comprising video, concrete, and hand-painted cut purplish-pink papers. The cut paper shapes sunken in concrete seem like trampled blossoms, no longer glorious. They have been charged with a metaphor of themselves, simultaneously full of and emptied out of their existence in mundane reality.

The collaborative work proposes consolation, as the artists call for almost Zen-like observation of islands of Nature which may peek out of the urban landscape: Stop. Look. Listen.


Nir Harmat, Curator

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