A special preview of “Rendered Void” with with artist Gabriela Vainsencher and curators Roxana Fabius and Patricia M. Hernandez. On a 2018 trip to Israel, in a used book store, Vainsencher found a copy of a catalogue for a 1987 exhibition at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art titled “Treasures of the Bible Lands.” In a curious departure from the museum’s focus on modern and contemporary art, the exhibition showed artifacts found in and around Israel, the Palestinian Authority, and the Gaza Strip. The catalogue featured photographic documentation of the artifacts of the myriad civilizations that lived in the Middle East in ancient times. Since acquiring the catalogue, Vainsencher has been physically and conceptually mining it, producing one-to-one photographs of the book’s pages, cut up and layered. She physically edits out the objects, leaving only negative spaces and the shadows they had cast on the backgrounds. These pages became fuel for images that call to mind the holes in the ground after an archeological expedition has departed, the negative space left behind by something that has been taken away. Vainsencher also renders the void in a recent series of abstract porcelain sculptures, installed on a site-specific blackened steel armature that wraps around the gallery. Echoing the negative spaces in the photographs, these monochromatic sculptures reference the body and its persistence through breakage.
Co-presented by Artis and A.I.R. Gallery. “Rendered Void” was supported by a 2019 Artis Exhibition Grant.