Pulse | Orit Hofshi

Shir Meller-Yamaguchi

Orit Hofshi’s installation offers a space of mysterious, timeless landscapes, where one can wander and contemplate the meaning of man’s transience and his traces on this earth.

In the piece Reservoir, Hofshiunravels a monumental, ancient landscape shrouded by darkness. The scenery is covered in silence, an attentive listening is requiredfor each step. The pounding of a heartbeat is heard in the distance. The round water reservoirsand the remains that protrude between the rocks attest to the existence of life. However, there are no trailsnor footprints as far as the eye can see.

The tension between the surface and what lies beneath it resonates throughout the installation. The process of woodcut print is in itself an action ofleaving traces. Hofshi draws and scores personal and collective narratives into the woodblock –a trace of the forest, charging it with the rhythm of her moving hand. The black paint absorbed in the wood imprints its mark on the paper, making the lines she has marked visible.

A closer examination will reveal that Hofshi juxtaposes varying textures and material qualities – just as nature replicates its manifestations in different rhythms. In traditional woodcut print, the woodblock is usually left behind once the printed image has been marked on the surface of the paper. Hofshi, however, challenges the conventional boundaries of the medium, combining the woodblocks and paper sheets (printed or rubbed in a frottage technique) into an entire new symphony.

The work Doubt brings to mind Hofshi’s previous works, where wandering figures stop along their path, searching or contemplating. The tangle of the forest’s dense lines blocks the view and its inner rhythm fades into the black woodblock beside it. The views of the forest, which hides more than it shows, confront us with the threshold between consciousness, knowledge and a fear of the unknown.

The dramatic contrast– between positive and negative, presence and absence, typical of woodcut print itself – echoes in the installation as well, between the wooded landscape and the bare ground, between the black woodblocks to the illuminated gate. In the journey, Hofshi wishes to introduce the question of the conscience that guides the individual’s path in the turmoil of life. And perhaps the very presence in this space, listening and contemplating, can also lead to disillusionment, discovery, confronting reality, and gaining a better understanding of it.