our house is cut out of soft wallpaper

”Orit Ishay aptly builds up to subtle whispers of details that one might usually miss out on, by extrapolating, editing, creating deconstructions of the heart of the heart of social and political imageries and meanings of home and the solitude of leaving it.”

Orit Ishay

Curator: Cristina Stoenescu

May 12 – June 25, 2023

Anca Poterașu Gallery, Bucharest

Starting a conversation on displacement and its implicit acts of hospitality and hostility, Orit Ishay’s solo show at Anca Poterasu Gallery in Bucharest, Romania, reaches out beyond cartographies and conflicts, focusing on rising fears both past and future-bound, as well as feelings of nostalgia, in the attempt of creating a shared experience of empathy, in the vein of Svetlana Boym’s, words: What is crucial is that nostalgia was not merely an expression of local longing, but a result of a new understanding of time and space that made the division into “local” and “universal” possible, in imagining the future with hope.

Orit Ishay, based in Israel, whose own family past is linked to the history of war and forced migration from Eastern Europe, frequently addresses themes connected to relations of power, questions of identity and socio-cultural paradigms. Within her new solo show, Orit Ishay focuses on key elements of shifting spaces of home into nowhere places of doubt, fear but also of endurance and memory, caught in a sea of polarities and shifting borders.
At its core, the show plays on opposite forms in human behavior when faced with changing contexts, caught in-between instincts of fight or flight, running towards, and running from, questioning the illusion of choice.
Orit Ishay, Forest of Blindness_13
Orit Ishay, Forest of Blindness_6
Orit Ishay, Forest of Blindness_11

Through works such as I can/I can’t (neon work, 2010) and ManaManot (video, 2013), Orit Ishay underlines the nuances between personal stories and the seemingly unmovable and arbitrary socio-cultural contexts that affect lives in irreversible ways. She produces new photographic work specifically for the show, within in-situ installations that further build up to a momentum of a back-and-forth dance between certainty and loss, between uncertainty and shelter, between doors of no-return, as the poetical writer Dionne Brand would imagine.

Home becomes in this sense a cutout of our own lives, peeling away from the fast-paced background of our interwoven histories.
Home becomes in this sense a cutout of our own lives, peeling away from the fast-paced background of our interwoven histories.
Orit Ishay, Goblen, C-print
Orit Ishay, Goblen, C-Print
Orit Ishay, Goblen, C-print

You can download the curatorial text below.