Liberty (leading the people), by Dorit Cypis, borrows elements from her recent installation The Sound of Time, (Optica Gallery, Montreal, Canada, 2003), and extends them to adapt to the current environment of Noga Gallery, Tel Aviv, Israel.
Liberty (leading the people), a reflection on Eugene Delacroix’s romantic/classical painting Liberty Leading the People, 1830, is a poetic evocation of longing, loss and mourning…all inner emotions associated with unrequited desire for freedom, a “freedom” seemingly within reach and inevitably beyond our reach. It is a desire which propels human beings no matter what our cultural heritage, no matter what our gender, class and race lines.
At Noga, all the elements placed in the gallery, the architecture and the viewers reference each other. Two images, one still, the other in movement, and a mirror on the floor all share the same proportions. The still image, a photograph cut out from the Los Angeles Times in 2001, has been transformed to destabilize its political intention into one evoking a personal memory of mythological proportions. Whose memory? Whose history? The image in movement, a video projection of curtains caught in a fierce gale negotiating the containment of a window frame, is relentless in its physicality, bodyfull in its movement and motivation to be free. The curtains hang in a hotel room, Tel Aviv, Israel. The mirror, reflecting there where it is not, catches dislocated glances of everything present within the architectural space of the gallery. Glances, which are seen only by the viewer’s moving body, make the viewer complicit in the act of looking.
While in Israel, as compliment to her exhibition at Noga Gallery, Cypis will be spending time observing the conciliation strategies at play in the Palestinian/ Israeli village of Neve Shalom/Wahat-al-Salam. These concurrent activities will inform the future expansion of Liberty (leading the people) for the upcoming exhibition Imagine a Nation, 2004, Los Angeles County Museum of Art.