On view

Garden Keepers – Sharon Glazberg

The starting point for Sharon Glazberg’s exhibition was Persian zoomorphic ritual vessels from the 8-10 centuries BC from the museum collection. Sharon’s relationship with Iran began in the 1970s when her family arrived there to build a modern farm. After two years, when the Islamic Revolution erupted in 1979, they were forced to leave. Glazberg was only two years old when her family arrived in Iran, but her memories, informed mainly by family photos and stories she has heard over the years, are branded in her mind. The museum collection was enriched with zoomorphic ritual vessels thanks to the kibbutz members who also arrived in Iran during those years as farming experts, and used the opportunity to purchase Persian art objects for the museum they held so dearly. Glazberg’s installation relates to these vessels and to Persian gardens, expressing her desire to produce an alternative narrative for that significant period in her life, and to continue addressing collective and personal narratives and the connection between them.

The installation base is made up of wooden furniture collected from kibbutz members, some of them produced by the Hazorea Furniture*,** from the collection of kibbutz member Yafa Shoham. Among the furniture, Glazberg placed groups of clay vessels that simulate the Persian vessels from the museum collection, within which she planted plants typical of the kibbutz area and around which she placed moss collected in the nearby forest. Here and there are screens showing the multichannel video work Garden Keepers, featuring kibbutz members blowing the Persian instruments from the museum collection in what seems like a ritualistic or a resuscitation act – literal and metaphorical. Removing the vessels from their storeroom, exposing and using them produce possibilities for new narratives and unexpected connections.

In the video work The Spitters, a “hunter” (invisible to the camera) wanders in the grove among loquat trees full of ripe fruit, and the women he encounters spit the fruit seeds at him. This recurring action simulates a kind of surreal ritual act that ties humanity with the forces of nature. The defiant spitting of the seeds seems to empty the life potential inherent in women, but at the same time creates the possibility for growth and flourishing in nature.
The exhibition’s materials and objects represent a miniature geographic and mental place, and as in the Persian gardens – which reflect a real and at the same time utopian landscape – they point to the relation between nature, man and culture, between inside and outside and between local and universal. They tie documentary and imaginary narratives together to create a new one that contains both.