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Art and Kabbalah: Contradiction of Meeting Point

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Before the Creation, the Infinite or EIN SOF, was the only essence …..He operated a contraction or ZIMZUM of the light to allow the future creation to be able to bear it…
And yet, the Vessels were unable to bear the intensity of the contracted light and broke-------it was in the LURIANIC KABBALA what the ARI (16th century in Safed) called the
Breaking of the vessels or SHEVIRAT HA KELIM.  Sparks of light are now scattered down in the various worlds……
A ray of light------KAV YASHAR---come from the primordial light pierced the empty matrix or HALLAL PANOUI in which remained the memory of the infinite light, the RESHIMU, sort of passive energy…….
Their meeting through infinite attractions and repulsions finally created the first atom, the first matter…….from 2 energies came matter……..
In the same way, the artist must create a ZIMZUM a contraction within himself so as to build an independent place, a free matrix in which his or her work will find its nest.  The art work needs above all a lessening, a screening of observation to be able to travel from the infinite variety of possible to the atomic fixation in space and time
The ZIMZUM which precedes all creation is the only way for the primordial light to enter the world of matter, of the finite, of obscurity, of pulsions and choice between the two trees of life and knowledge………the Lurianic kabbala sees it as the exile of God or that of the artist.
The unfolding of the project comes in the ZOHAR through 10 dimensions, emanations, vessels- lights, abstractions called the SEFIROT------from the Hebrew words-SEFER, book    or  MISPAR, number, or SIPUR, narrative, story, or SAPIR, colorless crystal in which all the rays of light, all the colors of the rainbow can reflect themselves.

As if the access from the infinite to the finite could be realized only through the medium called the SEFIROT.
We can speak of a structural totality of the emanation forces as well as of a perfect individualization of each one of them at the same time.
The eye has to embrace all the potential forms of a single form to reach its essence and unity.
ALEF = 1        ELEF=1000---------same letter and word in Hebrew!!
The Hebraic expression ITHAVOUT-----gradual growth, emergence of matter-------reflects the impossibility to grasp the essence if not through the infinite process of metamorphosis and fluidity.
It is not strange thus that the name of GOD in the Torah is not the lord but I SHALL BE WHAT I SHALL BE………..
THE ESSENCE is in the future time, in its movement.
The kabbala sees in ART not the static form but the dynamics of life , the streaming cosmos……….the forth dimension---------space-time is inseparable from the kabbalistic vision.

As it is written at the moment of the giving of the Torah in Sinai: ""the people saw the voices""
Indeed they saw the essence of sound, the sound –waves themselves…….

If  ART reveals the hidden worlds of the universe, and of the human experience, then the visual symbols used in Jewish art are no doubt deeply inspired from the kabbalistic tradition…….in which  every biblical word has a double value of signified and significant…….
Everything which exists in the material world has a correspondence in the world of the SEFIROT………
Utilizing dynamic symbols prevents dogmatization and allows to feel mutations and change.
It is as if the commentator of the text or the artist, in their constant questioning the symbol, tried and aspired to catch a reality which always escapes the observer.

In this exhibition, ELEVATIONS and PERMUTATIONS, we can easily see how TOBIA RAVA has found a pictural language, a mathematical code that reflects the reality of life , the extraordinary complexity of the universe and its  rules………
The observer who is not knowledgeable in kabbala misses the real significant but can still enjoy the intuition of the message.   Letters and numbers are the mathematical, physical, astrophysical secret of Creation and RAVA has perfectly assimilated it to the point of doing it naturally and realizing a quite difficult enterprise-------the meeting point between art and kabbala…..

It is of interest to see, for example, how ESTHER GUENASSIA, from Jerusalem, sees her own work:
''Neither God nor the cosmos can be represented……no painting can depict or copy hidden reality…….the Hebrew letters can unfold for us the divine secrets of the universe.
The artist who uses them must be scrupulous in his research, avoiding decoration or illustration…………they are indeed a meditation. Creating is entering the magnetic field of the letter substance.""

DORIT FELDMAN, from Tel Aviv,  gives us some of her thoughts on her works:: the photographs and works in mixed media on copper were selected from a new series entitled MAPPING TRANSMUTATIONS….the reference to the LAND OF THE HOLY ( and not the holy land which a wrong translation from the Hebrew) in the ancient maps create a correspondence between the corporeal and the sublime…….in the Hebrew  word M P A, the letter MEM
Represents water, the fountain of divine Wisdom, the Torah, the letter PE is the power of speech, and the letter HE is the breath, the idea, the action  and life!!!!!
The works are replete with images of water and trees, the tree of life and the Mohin  or brains…….they are all painted, photographed, al-chemically etched in the copper………………

FRANCE LERNER, from Paris and Jerusalem, reveals successfully in a very particular drawing technique the texture of the cosmos through the letters…….and in the thermic video with the 12 bronze sculptures on breath and reanimation, we can feel the central idea of kabbala------the flux of life that, if interrupted, leads to death………

BELU FAINARU who lives in Haifa also says the aspiration
Of the artist to grasp the essence through the illusion of matter………presence and absence  are to be found at the heart of his creations-----but also memory, the NAME, the dust of the earth and above all the letters of creation…….

As it is said in the BABYLONIAN TALMUD::'' BEZALEL, the first Hebrew artist of the Bible ,knew how to combine and permute the letters which GOD used to create the skies and the earth………"""


The Square of the Creation