Black Box: Ori Gersht

December 22, 2008 – April 12, 2009

Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden
Independence Avenue at 7th Street, SW
Washington, DC

Lower Level Floor Plan

The Black Box theater showcases rotating exhibitions of contemporary artists who use film or video as their creative medium. Films or videos run continuously.

Ori Gersht (b. 1967, Tel Aviv), who currently lives and works in London, is noted for his series of large-scale photographs and arresting moving-image pieces. His work encourages viewers to reflect on the power of natural beauty and how it is affected by human intervention, such as the following film:

  • The Forest (2006, 13:22 min.): The artist uses the camera to pan a lush, primeval forest located in the Moskalova woods that span Poland and the Ukraine, a site that has personal meaning for him. Sound alternates with silence and suddenly a tree falls to the ground with a thunderous echo. Who or what is causing the tree to fall? Is this a statement about nature and inevitability? Or is it an exercise in anticipation?

Also, included are two other works that reference traditional Spanish and Dutch still-life paintings in which precise arrangements of foods, fruits or flowers, are shown at their peak, implying the inevitably of decay. Gersht's imagery does not decay by dissolving over time; it combusts, and then in slow motion, recalls the time-lapse imagery of Harold Edgerton's scientific action photography as seen in the following works:

  • Pomegranate (2006, 3:52 min.) is shown on a flat-screen located next to the entrance of the Black Box Theater.
  • Big Bang II (2006) is a recent acquisition on view on the 3rd floor.