Opening reception October 30, 2014, 6-8 pm
Conversation between Orit Raff and catalogue essayist Eva Díaz November 6, 2014,
We are pleased to announce our fifth solo exhibition with Orit Raff entitled Priming. This series of twelve digitally produced prints depict spaces conjured from novels with cultural, sociological and political references. As if designing a theatrical set, she uses her interpretation and careful study of the novels she has selected to imagine the physical appearance of the rooms in which pivotal events unfold. The imaginary photojournalist represents a hybrid genre that merges the appearance of straightforward documentary photography with a carefully staged one, in a process that does not require a camera yet mimics a straight photographic document. Raff has used a combination of architectural and photo-editing software to fabricate her compositions.
A fully illustrated catalog has been produced by the Tel Aviv Museum of Art with essays by exhibition curator Nili Goren, Jenny Erpenbeck, and Eva Dias.
The selection of novels cuts a wide swathe through the history of literature ranging from Flaubert’s Madame Bovary to Henry James’ Turn of the Screw, Donna Tartt’s Secret History and Amoz Oz’s My Michael. A full list of works referenced is on the following page.
Raff works in a variety of mediums including photography, video, film and installation, and over her 25 years of exhibiting has explored a range of subjects. Her previous projects include Inside Drawing (2000), which looked at classroom spaces as sites of literal and symbolic reading and writing to Insatiable (2005) in which she combines video, installation and still images of bakeries in Israel and New York to explore themes of creation and destruction. Lauri Firstenberg, founder of LAX ART in Los Angeles where Priming will be shown this summer, has been a long time supporter of Raff’s work and in Art Papers (May/June 2005) she described Raff’s earlier practice in ways that can be applied to Priming, despite its formal dissimilarity:
“Raff engages culture and subjectivity as productive forces that resist a controlled order of meaning. Enlisting a range of media and conceptual strategies, she addresses identity, language, history, memory and place as mutable, plural and generative constructions.”
A native of Israel, Raff studied at the Bezalel Academy in Jerusalem, the School of Visual Arts in New York, the Whitney Independent Study Program and received an MFA from Bard College. She returned to her homeland in 2004 and now lives in Tel Aviv with her husband and two daughters.
Raff has exhibited widely, in group and solo exhibitions in the United States, Israel and abroad, including the Deutsche Guggenheim, Berlin; Artists’ Space, New York; and SITE Santa Fe. She is included in several public collections including The Albright-Knox, Buffalo; MIT List Visual Arts Center, the Tel Aviv Museum and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.
List of books:
Blindness by Jose Saramago
Freedom by Jonathan Franzen
Jealousy by Alain Robbe-Grillet
Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
My Michael by Amos Oz
Special Topics in Calamity Physics by Marisha Pessl
The End of Mr. Y by Scarlett Thomas
The Glass Room by Simon Mawer
The Map and the Territory by Michel Houellebecq
The Secret History by Donna Tartt
The Turn of the Screw by Henry James
Visitation by Jenny Erpenbeck