Galia Gur Zeev
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photos | installations | texts | reviews Aftermath  2009
Untitled, Digital  print, 110x140 cm.
Untitled, Digital  print, 110x140 cm.
Untitled, Digital print, 80x80 cm.
Digital print, 80x80 cm
Digital print, 110x140 cm
By its very nature the empty exhibition space of the gallery is perceived as a neutral environment for displaying art. Galia Gur Zeevs photographs challenge this basic blankness with images that follow the process of emptying an apartment of its objects, and metaphorically of people as well.
The vacated spaces carry traces of their contents, divulging the period in which they were occupied and the time that has passed since, preceding the moment of the photograph. Over the years these same spaces functioned as a residential apartment. The everyday ordinariness of this existence is exchanged for absence. First the absence of possessions, followed by awareness of the absence of their owners. This process is in essence derived from the photograph, and is the reverse of the course of events.
The series of photographs were taken in the apartment of Galias parents, after the death of her father. The belongings are part of the contents of the house and were photographed before and during the process of being cleared out and removed.
The exhibition includes photographs of the interior of the vacated apartment and of items of clothing and belongings that raise penetrating questions about the fluidity of the concept of representation, the significance and lack of significance of belongings, and is metaphorically broader than the creation of a visual expression of their loss.
These works recall Miriam Bäckströms series of photographs made in the years 1992-1996 Estate of a Deceased Person. This series includes photographs of the houses she entered, first as an appraiser for a public auction house and later, with the permission of the heirs, as a photographer, documenting in a single photograph different situations of living spaces in the beginning or during a state of transition that indicate or camouflage the absence of those who were and are no longer. Bäckströms impersonal touch as an observer changes into the wrenchingly personal in the work of Gur Zeev, who photographs a place very familiar to her, home, where the first stage in its process of vanishing is found in its emptying. Nevertheless, the choice to display the emptied house showing signs of possessions, their traces and remainders in relatively few photographs, next to photographs of empty suits left without a wearer, touches on the sense of absence, and presents in a sharp and acute manner the inconceivable transition from the ability to feel pain that affirms existence, to its loss.

Vered Zafran Gani
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