Friday, January 14, 2011

A reflection of Creation

"GENESIS" by Israeli artist Belu-Simion Fainaru
1997. Jerusalem stone, glass, light bulbs
Loan of artist to Hebrew University, Mt. Scopus campus
I quote the sign near it:

"How to look at the scuplture Genesis by Belu-Simion Fainaru"
"Genesis is a structure reminiscent of a house, perhaps of a tomb of a Tzaddik, or even an ossuary. It is too small to be a house however, and the feature that most signifies the idea of a home, a door by which to enter, is missing.
There are windows permanently illuminated from within, but they do not look like the windows we are familiar with. In fact, their unusual shapes arouse the question: what are they meant to be?
If we look carefully, we see these are Hebrew letters, from aleph to vav, each representing one day in the week of creation.
. . .
We realize the letters are written backward.
The only way to see them correctly is to look at their reflection on the floor.
In order to encompass all the days of creation one has to encircle the sculpture completely.
Just as it is impossible to enter the sculpture to see the letter-windows properly, it is also impossible to fully fathom the depth of creation.
Our understanding will always be a mere reflection of the act itself."
A profound piece for James' Weekend Reflections, I believe.
To read about the importance of the artwork's venue, please click on the sign above.
The Bima it refers to was posted previously here.
Shabbat shalom, peace to you all on this Sabbath when God rested from his creating.


Louis la Vache said...

WOW! What a neat contribution to Weekend Reflections, Dina!

LauraX said...

this is fantastic Dina, thank you for sharing...I will forward this link to some of my friends who I know will appreciate this magnificent sculpture.

Reader Wil said...

Shabbat Shalom! You are absolutely right that we cannot fathom the depth of creation. We will always be amazed about all creatures and plants that grow on this planet.Thank you for this food for thoughts.

James said...

That is really cool. I like the reflection on the floor too.
Nice one Dina.

Sally in WA said...

This is awesome!

Karen said...

Interesting photo and a fantastic reflection.

DawnTreader said...


Sara said...

Hmmmm....I understand the concept, but they still look backwards to me! Is that because of the camera?

I like this, and what was said about it in the second photo. Thanks Dina!

Shabbat Shalom!

Sara said...

Ooops, I meant, what was said about it in the third photo, not the second...!

cieldequimper said...

A lit ossuary would be a first for me!

Malyss said...

It's not only reflection , but also deep reflexion..Interesting how a piece of art can make us think a lot!

Clytie said...

Wow. This is indeed magnificent and thought provoking.

Pietro said...

Really fabulous! It's so interesting to know about the Hebrew letters, from aleph to vav, which represent one day in the week of creation. Surely, we cannot fully understand the creation: we have just a faint idea, of course.

VP said...

Why we don't need instructions to observe real sculptures? I beg your pardon but, sincerely, the only thing I like of this pretentious 'sculpture' is the nice reflection you got.

Dina said...

Shalom friends and thanks for your reactions.

Sara, you are right. The reflected letters as we see them in the photo are upside down. If you stood with your back against the "sculpture," you would see the alef and bet on the floor properly. (I think in this case what the eye sees and what the camera sees and records are the same.)

EG Wow said...

I like the idea that the letters are meant to be read in the reflection. I'm thinking the artist must believe in the benefit of thinking reflectively.

JM said...

Very cool, Dina!

Anonymous said...

What a mind !

Please have a wonderful weekend.

daily athens

Kay L. Davies said...

I was thinking about reflection and reflecting today, Dina. This gives me much food for thought, as well as the enjoyment of seeing this sculpture as you saw it, through the lens of your camera.
-- K

Kay, Alberta, Canada
An Unfittie's Guide to Adventurous Travel

Kay said...

Wow! This is a very interesting contribution to the meme. It's amazing what ideas come from great artists.

Ann said...

The top photo, I thought he was writing Chinese words.