Inside the head of an art student, day 2

Lately, I have been thinking about the work of Raida Adon (b. 1972 in Acre, lives in Tel Aviv-Yafo), whom I first discovered when I visited the Tel Aviv Museum of Art in September, 2014.

Last semester I began familiarizing myself with some of Adon’s earlier works.

Here is a trailer of the film I saw two summers ago: Woman without a Home, 2014.

This is a text by the artist talking about what Woman without a Home represents and means to her:

“As a child whenever I looked at myself deep in the eyes, I would see two or more faces staring back at me from within the looking glass. More than just experiencing a trick of mind , I knew there existed another women within me.
I never felt uncomfortable with this other being living in the inmost recesses of my soul, yet today I have the feeling she is deserting me.
Is it she who is abandoning me or is it my body who is incapable to hold on to her.
Today when I look at myself I seem to have grown alien to myself, to my aging body, to my tired soul giving sanctuary to my sister being.
Now, at night, when my eyes are closed in fitful slumber, the tenant of my soul leaves her dwellings, like I have no power upon her. She hovers over my bed, scrutinizing my body. Spider web wrinkles, puffed eyes and a frail skeleton are not a suitable abode for that burning fiery subconscious being. I fear she may run away, my body screams to pull her down but my frame is too fragile for the task.

I wonder who is it who turns his back and who of us is left high and dry? Is my physical body giving up on my soul or is my soul tired of my deteriorating body? Is the house really tumbling down or is it I refusing to accept my fragmented existence?
How is our existence manifested? A residence with a roof under which we find refuge or a country in which we are born and live? Is it the language we use that gives us peace of mind or is it our own body that houses our soul? Where at all is that house, or are we doomed to be homeless?

My Video project deals with my own homelessness. It is a quest for a home in the country in which I was born and grew up. The country that changed so much from when I was a child. The country that raised me and gave me my two personalities, two languages, two cultures and traditions.
In my dream I get out of my body to meet the other women in me only to find out we are but two facets of one and the same. I push my bed like a supermarket trolley, heaping some earth upon the mattress, earth on which one can build a house. I add a tree upon which I climbed as a child. I take some blue from the sky and breeze from the sea for my capricious sister-self. We search for our home in the dessert, on the rocky hills in the snowy mountains. Finally we search in the depths of the sea, leaving in our path on the shore, a tell-tale wheal track…
I leave my body to meet myself.”

I was reminded of Adon after being introduced to Sergei Parajanov’s The Color of Pomegranates  (1968), which is a biography of the Armeninan poet Sayat-Nova (King of Song; 1712-1795). Through the lens of Parajanov’s imagination and Sayat-Nova’s poems, the film recounts the poet’s coming of age, discovery of the female form, falling in love, entering a monastery, and eventual death in a visual and poetic, rather than literal language. This work changed the way I think and go about structure and narrative within my own photographic practice.

Here is a clip from the The Color of Pomegranates: 

Weaving these two films together is very exciting!

-Nechama Winston

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