Silvery Water and Starry Earth

Silvery Water and Starry Earth

Sofie Berzon MacKie

Curator: Meital Manor

“Our soul is an abode, and by remembering “houses” and “rooms, we learn to “abide” within ourselves. Now everything is clear, the home images move in both directions: they are in us as much as we are in them.” [1]

The exhibition’s starting point is artist Sofie Berzon Mackie’s home in Kibbutz Beeri. The artist has been documenting her living room for three years – reinterpreting the familiar and the mundane, photographing her closest circle, her children, herself, and allegorical animals on a velvet sofa with a large window behind it.

Berzon Mackie invites us to visit her living room. It no longer exists. She rebuilds it in the gallery space, deliberately blurring the lines between the house she left and the house in which she exhibits. Without text, the works are the raw materials for constructing the interpretive story. These are delicate photographs that reality abruptly invaded on October 7, expropriated them, and claimed new meanings. Now they move between the personal and the collective, between the concrete and the symbolic, touching questions of time and place, of what was and is no more.

Home, identity, and motherhood are inseparable from the materials Berzon Mackie has dealt with over the years. Her immigration from London when she was 7, losing her mother two months after arriving in Israel, and growing up in Kibbutz Be’eri all create her works’ unique alchemy. Her home in London flashes by her home in Be’eri, both of which she had to leave. In the exhibition, which is taking place in what used to be the home of artist Pinchas Litvinovsky, they unite into one – an abandoned house that now contains additional houses that no longer exist. A house within a house within a house.

“Sometimes, the house of the future is better built, lighter, and larger than all the houses of the past.” [2]

Together with the mixed feelings following the viewer, Berzon Mackie also allows herself to dream of another reality. The exhibition takes its name from a manuscript titled “The Silvery Water and the Starry Earth” written by Muḥammad ibn Umayl in the tenth century, on which Jung based his claim that there are no processes of transformation and growth without passing through the darkness of the soul and through rebirth. Sofie’s journey can also be compared to the state of existence in which we all find ourselves: a home that has been lost and will be rebuilt.

[1] Gaston Bachelard, The Poetics of Space, translated into English by Maria Jolas, Beacon press p.34).

[2] Ibid., p. 61.


Curator: Meital Manor- Studio of Her Own, Jerusalem
Date: January - April 2024
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