This month’s art exhibition features the work of Andi Arnovitz and Beth Krensky on the themes of sin and redemption. The following descriptions are by the artists themselves, and help us to better understand the relationships between sin, redemption, and their pieces. To return to this month’s online art exhibition, please visit the Sh’ma homepage, www.shma.com.
Lashon HaRav, by Andi Arnovitz
“This piece is about the outrageous comments being made by the Rabbis of Israel, which I’ve compiled into a list. Their remarks cover the gamut from suggesting that it would be better for an IDF soldier to go before a firing squad than to hear a woman sing, to mandating that it is inappropriate for grown men to swim with girls older than three years old, to the latest racial slur against people of color made by the new chief rabbi. The sense that a Rabbi needs to choose his words carefully, and that which constitutes lashon hara, has been utterly lost on this generation.”
Metaphysical Handcart Performance, Bonneville Salt Flats, Utah, 2012 by Beth Krensky
Metaphysical Handcart, Bronze, brass, steel, olive leaves, 42”h x 63”w x 20.5”d, 2011 by Beth Krensky
“I see this work as being ‘walked,’ slowly, down barren streets; that said, this image is of it being performed on the Salt Flats—a wide expanse of whiteness and nothingness near the Great Salt Lake.
As the Cart makes its way through a landscape, everything it holds jiggles and moves. There are bronze and brass bells; a bowl (limned with a Hebrew blessing) filled with olive leaves; four dead birds cast in bronze. As they make their jingling and gentle bumping sounds, I feel a sense of a narrow liminality, that the division between Heaven and Earth comes somehow aroused.
I modeled this piece after the hand carts that Mormon pioneers used when they traveled across the country. For me, in our present day, it opens up a new frontier, albeit a metaphysical one: an Other space that offers both refuge and salvation.”
Sun Funnel Performance, Bonneville Salt Flats, Utah, 2012 by Beth Krensky
Sun Funnel, Bronze, pigment, gold leaf, 10”h x 8”w x 7.25”d, 2011 by Beth Krensky
“This funnel, made of bronze and lined with gold leaf, are meant to capture the sun, and hence (or rather, subsequently), to be worn on the top of the head. Having one’s crown chakra exposed in pinpoint to the sun imparts a warming feeling of nurturing to the wearer; but it may well look pretty funny to the observer! The text inscribed on the rim reads: “bright gaseous orb of oozing flame…bathe me in light.” I, myself, have sat under the sun, wearing this. I think of what it might be like to be a more basic life form, like a tree; sometimes we, like plants, need to receive the basic Life Force; to be nurtured on a simple and direct way.”
Portable Sanctuary #1: Psalm Chair Performance, Tooele, Utah, 2012 by Beth Krensky
Portable Sanctuary #1, Wood, leather, 37”h x 17”w x 27”d, 2011 by Beth Krensky
“This object, complete with leather straps—and the 23rd Psalm engraved on the seat of an old classroom chair made of oak—is intended to be ‘wandered’ or carried on one’s back, much like a backpack. To perform it, I have fitted it on my own back, and carried it through the forest. As I’m walking, whenever I’m ready, I put it down and sit on it, and when I see fit, I take it up again.
The Psalm reads “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want…he maketh me to lie down in green pastures…” and, not surprisingly, I feel the work as a whole resonates best when activated in a pastoral setting, far away from human presence. Breeze, sunlight; and the individual/wearer ‘sitting’ with a sense of intention and comfort.”
A Return to Flight, Digital Photograph, 2013 by Beth Krensky
“This piece is intended as a return to both literal and figurative flight. The image of myself is also printed on a life-size kite that I then fly. It is a personal redemptive act.”
Born in 1959 in Kansas City Missouri, Andi Arnovitz now lives and works in Jerusalem, Israel. She uses paper, fabrics, clay and digital information as well as various printmaking processes to create artworks that deal with current issues of gender, politics and religion. Her prints, sculptures and installations have been exhibited all over the world. Her works can be found in collections of the U.S. Library of Congress, the Museum in Ein Harod and YU Museum among others. She currently has works at the Museum of Biblical Arts in NYC and will have works in the upcoming paper biennale at the Eretz Israel Museum in Tel Aviv. You can see more of her pieces at her web site: www.andiarnovitz.com
Beth Krensky is an Associate Professor of art education and the Area Head of Art Teaching at the University of Utah. She is an artist, activist and educator. She received her formal art training from the Boston Museum School. She has exhibited widely throughout the United States and internationally. She is a founding member of the international artist collective, the Artnauts. Her work is intended to provoke reflection about what is happening in our world as well as to create a vision of what is possible.