ODED HIRSCH | Chelsea Project
The Chelsea project consists of a series of photos of facades of some of the main galleries of the Chelsea area in New York. The set is structured uniformly with these photographs of similar hues, in which only walls appear, with closed doors and windows. The monotony complies here with a psychological function: it helps express a distant and reserved position of the author himself before the symbolism of these spaces in the contemporary world of art. The author himself has expressed that his relationship with the commercial institutions is ambivalent. Perhaps that ambivalence is part of a rather generalized state of opinion that appreciates the role of the art market in the development of contemporary artistic culture, at the same time it maintains a critical perspective towards the ambiguity of a work of art, which fluctuates between the condition of the symbolic object and the condition of merchandise. Despite the centrality of this approach, on the conceptual side of these pieces, their ideological weight is filtered mildly enough in the project’s general statement. I mean to say that this is not an excessively discursive work or with a very evident non-conformist aim. In general, we are before a set of visual representations that are articulated by means of chromatic, hue and geometric harmonies, causing a subtlety effect that at times borders on abstraction. Oded Hirsch is a photographer with a special talent to capture or rebuild situations -generally tense- where the human being performs a leading function. Nevertheless, different to what takes place in series such as 50 Blue o Sleep Tight, in these photos of Chelsea there are no people, the spaces are not represented with the intensity of human contexts, but rather with the coldness pertaining inhabited spaces. Oded Hirsch was born in Israel in 1976, and has the experience of having served in the army during four years. Therefore he does not hesitate to explain his work as a consequence of his own experience in very particular socio-political conditions. Maybe in those circumstances it will be possible for us to perceive in a better way the work he has been developing in the last years, as a result of a direct look, that faces reality as a realm of mystery and contradiction.

By Juan Antonio Molina (translated by Leticia Consuegra)
Mexico City, April 10th, 2010

 

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