Orit Akta Hildesheim | Don’t Mention the Rope…
Curator: Leore Yahel Ohad

The artist Orit Akta Hildesheim is on par with the great hyper realistic painters of our time. While at first glance her new body of work offers a spectacular aesthetic observation, it also allows a fascinating peek into an internal, almost ritualistic, process of introspection. The technique, in which the painting is constructed of dozens of transparent layers, characterizes the painter’s work process, and is poured into every piece, demanding that she enters a hypnotic and meditative, almost Zen like mental state. The fragile ritualistic ceremony and the images of ropes, nails and laces in the paintings offer an elusive state, leaving the viewers wondering: who is the “sacrifice” and who is doing the”sacrificing”.

The leitmotiv of the rope is reiterated in the series featured in this exhibition, as well as in her previous works, yet this time it takes the leading role, the one on which the scene “hangs”. The rope seems to extend to the viewer an offer to come closer to the artist’s life journey, like a self-portrait that simulates personal human qualities, like grasp and strength on the one hand, and tear and disintegration on the other hand.

It is interesting to note that the artist’s maiden name Akta is derived from an old expression in Arabic originating in El Akta, which can be translated as: the one detached from roots. Akta Hildesheim’s personal connection in dealing with the feeling of detachment and vulnerability is perhaps in her roots and paves the route of the rope throughout the body of works. This discovery brings to mind almost immediately the famous expression “don’t mention rope in the home of ahanged man,” and bestows the piece with a brave and surprising dimension.

The dualistic quality of the rope seamlessly integrates the supporting actors in the scene: transparent, delicate pieces of lace that represent a kind of absence, and nails as a possibility of memories or wounding and detached internal world. At the end of the painting ritual, the great temptation Akta Hildesheim faces is the color palette: here everything is shrouded with monochrome colors that emphasize, flatten, and subdue the images even further. Here there is no room for bold colors, the meditative state culminates and wishes to be engulfed without a trace.

Orit Akta Hildesheim, b. 1970, lives and works in Tel Aviv. Studied under the artist Meir Natif. Exhibited solo exhibitions in Israel and abroad, including an exhibition at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art after winning the 2011 Haim Shiff Prize for Figurative-Realist Art.