Noga Greenberg | Stretch Out the Earth
‘You stretch out the earth over the waters’ is part of a Jewish blessing recited each morning. The words express a wish for stability and harmony between the foundations sustaining the world. This is the exhibition’s starting point: pondering the nature of the basic things on which her life stands, the personal rituals, the materialistic aspects of life, and their relation to the transcendental.
Greenberg assembled a body of work based on 35mm film and 6X9 slides. She deals with home- spaces on all levels, capturing encounters between spiritual areas and earthly ones, and the processes that occur in them. These are spaces that yearn to soar, striving for the endless horizon and breathing space, while at the same time allowing the existence of intimacy, which overflows until the point of bursting.
Images of home and beds morph into white clouds and horizons, bright color stains of a film that has undergone processes of erosion and disintegration, alongside real or imagined landscapes. The horizon present in the works has symbolic meaning, as separating sacred and secular states or inner and outer intermediate states. Greenberg delimits spaces that are essentially vague – the meeting between ground and sky, the transition point between wakefulness and sleep, the infinite potential of the film, and the subtle sense of longing that hovers over everything, looking for a vessel to dwell in.
The formulated and organized reality disintegrates in the transition between small, compressed lightboxes of landscapes and vast prints of beds with cluttered bedding; the film is stained, the landscapes fade into the walls; the rooms of her home are illuminated by unplanned flashes of light. The small lightboxes gleam; glowing dots that enclose horizons. In these spaces lies the potential for release, but they too remain an object of longing. They are small, the details are inaccessible, and the sense of well-being we are accustomed to finding in ourselves while visiting vast landscapes is absent.
The domestic spaces scattered around the lightboxes are disrupted, small fragments in which she found grace. A flicker of light, a sunbeam flaring the lens, randomly penetrating the camera and burning the film; or casting a delightfully warm softness. She lingers on the sense of intimacy and the place of its formation; in the form of her bedroom and the bed’s condition, the privacy of her living room with the silhouette of one of her children hiding behind a curtain. But even into the intimate and private space, a feeling of something overflowing creeps in; can no longer be contained.