New York Photo Review
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Making Caribbean Dance by Susanna Sloat
The Genetic Wars by Barbara Confino
Soho Photo Gallery
Central Booking Magazine

Tchotchkes, Carefully Arranged
Ilit Azoulay
The Keys
Reviewer #1
Tree for Too One by Ilit Azoulay. Source: andreameislin.com
Ilit Azoulay, "Tree for Too One" 2010

There is a very modern photographic sensibility on display at Andrea Meislin Gallery in the work of the Israeli artist Ilit Azoulay. The images, many of which are really big and composed of carefully photographed component parts seamlessly woven together, present extremely high-resolution prints of scenes with surprising verisimilitude.

The image that you will spend the most time with (it’s more than 16 feet long) is a view of a rough plaster wall with maybe a hundred tchotchkes carefully arranged on small shelves or hung from the wall. Stones, each standing on a small scrap of paper as if they had been collected for a museum, photographs, an odd plant or two and other decorative bibelots of uncertain nature are all carefully arranged into a cheerful, well lit tableau– a thoroughly modern cabinet of curiosities, each item carefully prepared and photographed.

Passage by Ilit Azoulay. Source: andreameislin.com
Ilit Azoulay, "Passage" 2009

But there’s the rub, it’s just too perfect. Imagine now a similar scene taken of your own bookshelf/geegaw gallery. Maybe not as well lit, and in my own case certainly not as well dusted, but certainly filled with as many different trinkets and doodads, not to mention odd rocks, and that weird brown thing over there. The shelf and the knickknacks have a life and a history, and in turn tell a story. The imagined walls in the images in this show simply lack that history, each item insistently ‘now’ with no way of knowing which was from last year and which from a decade before. Although collected by the artist herself, they have been deracinated, making the resulting images more like the backdrop for a high-end furniture ad than a personal statement.

Then, a little bit disappointed by the big pictures, (and hung almost as an afterthought by the gallery,) you will find a series of much smaller pieces. Using much the same photographic techniques, that is, combining multiple images to form a larger tableau, the artist has produced pictures with much more kick. These simulate a depth that was radically reduced in the larger pictures. We seem to be looking into a series of rooms, each with its own story and with dream-like changes of scale, as we pass from one to the next. Although enigmatic in their meaning, the different perspectives speak with each other, the presence of both the hand and mind of the artist firmly felt.

Ilit Azoulay
The Keys


Andrea Meislin
526 W 26th St. 2nd Fl
Chelsea         Map

212 627 2552
andreameislin.com

Thursday, June 23 to
Friday, August 12, 2011
Hours: Tues - Sat, 10 to 6
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The Genetic Wars by Barbara Confino
Making Caribbean Dance by Susanna Sloat
Central Booking Magazine
Soho Photo Gallery