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Take Me Out of Here

Shoshan - Shostakovich


Tal Shoshan
Curator: Irena Gordon


We step into a landscape which is an interior, a hidden space whose walls have been breached, revealing it in all its familiarity and strangeness. The space is inviting, drawing us in with its tactile sensuality, its formal richness, and the interrelations between the various objects within it. As we go in and get closer to the works, however, we are engulfed by a sense of a disaster that has occurred, time that has stood still, and signs of nature and culture that seem to have frozen in one jolting moment.

Tal Shoshan explores the traumatic memory embedded in the material and the image that emerges from within it. Using a sculptural language based on textiles and the arts associated with them, manual and industrial alike, she maps the space and time, and the journeys of the inanimate and living bodies within them.


Chamber Symphony in D minor, Op. 100a – Dmitri Shostakovich / Rabbi Barshai

Shostakovich wrote the piece - originally a string quartet in D minor, the eighth in number - in 1960, in just three days, in Dresden. It was written during a significant event in his life: his joining of the Communist Party, which persecuted him and his work for years. Shostakovich was shocked by the devastated Dresden and dedicated his work to the "victims of fascism and war" - the victims of totalitarianism, including himself, who were oppressed and crushed by the regime. In one of his letters, Shostakovich revealed that the string quartet was written in his memory, for the day after his death. This quartet was even played at his funeral, 15 years after its composition.

At the exhibition "Take me out of here," Tal Shoshan presents a sewing process in which she gives a new frame to old clothes and textiles that belonged to her family. These fabrics change their texture in the process of investigation and creation and become something new. Similarly, in his string quartet, Shostakovich takes "old fabric pieces" - quotes from his own works over the years - and sews them into something new. Some of his symphonies, the cello concerto, the violin concerto, melodies from "Lady Macbeth," and even a Russian revolution song by the Ukrainian poet Gregory Machtet are identified among the quotes. "The sewing thread," that unites these musical references, is his name signature motif. Shostakovich, like Bach before him, played with the initials of his name as a recurring motif in his works, and here it is marked by the four notes that make up the letters of his name according to the German notation: D-S-C-H. The motif appears in all five sections of the work, according to the changing characters, and “sew” all the musical quotes together.

Photos: Tal Oppenheimer, Elad Sarig, Petach-Tikva Museum of Art

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