Halfway Up / Contemporary Arabesque / Museum for Islamic Art, Jerusalem / 2018
photo: Shai Halevi
Halfway up, 2018
Rimma Arslanov s video installation, Halfway Up, 2018 touches on her own biography She was born in Tajikistan, lived in Uzbekistan, moved to Israel in her 20 s, and now works in Germany Uzbekistan, a Muslim country that lived under Soviet rule for many years, has distinctive Persian, Mongol, Muslim and Russian influences in its culture, architecture and aesthetics The interplay of these cultures is fundamental to Arslanov s work This work is composed of a piece of furniture, and of a projection based on a grid of a four winged pattern The proliferation of the pattern up to the height and along the breadth of the wall produces a sense of infinity From time to time a wing or a group of wings moves slightly, challenging the meticulous order Alongside the projection is a piece of furniture, its design inspired by the musical scores in the museum collection It too is ornamented with the winged pattern, made here of colored glass The inspiration for the wings was the archangel Gabriel, who appears in depictions of the Annunciation in Christian art In her work Arslanov has created domestic space, internal and feminine, through the proximity of the furniture to the projection of the winged pattern, giving an overall impression of the Arab Mashrabiya or lattice work There is a dialectic encounter of the beautiful and the menacing of freedom and liberation (the wing) and their entrenched opposite (wall border) Aesthetic Christian motifs are jumbled together with Islamic motifs, and the infinitely recurring pattern is interrupted from time to time, ostensibly disturbing the existing order.
Curatorial Text Tamar Gispan