Event Horizon

Event Horizon

About Sofie Berzon MacKie’s work, at the Man and the Living World Museum, June 2023-June 2024

By: Niv Nudelman, curator of the exhibition


A movement that begins with a halt, a deliberation, an observation.

The body seems to become aware of the singularity of the moment, of a choice which results are yet to be revealed.

Then in one step, the threshold is crossed; the distance between worlds is covered.

From the explicit, illuminated, and clear, the mind slowly sinks into the dense air, to the bottom of the dark, mythical, and deluding new world.

With an invisible thread, Berzon Mackie ties and connects the concrete natural history museum, which seeks facts, science, and zoological truth, to a small, dark internal room, a closet of curiosities with liminal qualities. Located inside the exhibition while still remaining external to its proceedings, forcing the viewer to deviate from their course and drawing them in, to delve deeper and deeper.

The works chosen for the dark space shine an inner light, from the depths, hybrid images of a fictional underwater world, created by human intelligence using artificial intelligence tools. In a long and repetitive process that began with the birth of an image, continues with its development, sifting and repeating, the creator creates a new visual world with a history. A world that grows from a nucleus of reality that has been fed into it. Through an unpaved way, with hundreds of unique splits that cannot be recreated, until it stabilizes in a place where an intermediate space is formed, a promise of a beginning.

“Like a pure sound or a melodic system of pure sounds in the midst of noises, so a crystal, a flower, a sea shell stand out from the common disorder of perceptible things. For us, they are privileged objects, more intelligible to the view, although more mysterious upon reflection, than all those which we see indiscriminately. They present us with a strange union of ideas: order and fantasy, invention and necessity, law and exception.” (Paul Valéry, Man and the Sea Shell; translated by R. Manheim )

Milky shells made out of thin, transparent layers, are surrounded by flickering dust grains, endless thick dark water, volcanic sands, and treasure pearls. Framing a dreamy reality, she succeeds in capturing a precise mix of myths and reality, so that doubt will constantly gnaw at us – have we seen such a thing before?

Among the 2D works, a giant oyster valve, covered in shimmering crystals, is placed on a podium. Set on a pile of black sand, as a corporeal. Like a fossilized dinosaur bone, it sits as solid proof of the existence of the elusive worlds reflected from the walls.

The oyster and shells- a family inheritance, alongside the images of artificial nature- products of cultural inheritance, allow the creator’s personal mythology to be born. Drawn from journeys of body and spirit, between continents, countries, and homes. It become a universal mythology, raising questions about belonging, identity, and place.

Event Horizon is the name of the ring surrounding the black hole, the point of no return from which there is only one option – to continue falling. A belt that prevents both worlds, the familiar and the foreign, from leaking into each other, lest our safe world be swallowed up in one fell swoop into a pit of dark uncertainty.

The work of Berzon Mackie, who in recent years has reversed the direction of the camera lens and began reflecting on her inner experience as an immigrant, deals with the thin line between the exceptional and the belonging, and their soldering together, until hybrids are formed. In Event Horizon, the creator chose to freeze the intermediate state in time, where everything takes place. The silent and dramatic moment, on the border that holds within it the world’s stability as well as the potential for its total loss. On this border, we stand as spectators and participants, devoting ourselves to it, diving into it, and for one brief moment, it seems to us that magic has returned to the world, and anything could happen.


Curator: Niv Nudelman
Date: 2022-2023
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