Rafael Y. Herman “The Night Illuminates The Night” at MACRO Testaccio, Rome
MACRO – the Museum of Contemporary Art of Rome – hosts a solo show by Rafael Y. Herman entitled The Night Illuminates The Night, curated by Giorgia Calò and Stefano Rabolli Pansera, and supported by Roma Capitale, Department of Cultural Growth – Superintendent Capitolina of Cultural Heritage.
The exhibition at MACRO Testaccio takes form of a large environmental installation in which the works emerge from the obscurity of the space like revelations. The poetics of Rafael Y. Herman develops in this dialectic between darkness and light. The artist’s gaze reveals a new approach to reality born and structured in darkness.
“The Night Illuminates The Night” features works that began in 2010 and was completed in 2016. During this period Herman established a dialogue with the great masters of the western tradition who have depicted the Holy Land across the centuries without ever having been there, relying on biblical and literary sources. Herman traces back through this tradition using his own method: nocturnal photography, without electronic aids or digital manipulation, showing only what is visible to the naked eye. Like the great masters of the past, operating in the darkness of the night Herman puts himself in the condition of not being able to see the landscape, even in these places where he was born and raised. The intentional blindness enables the artist to gain access to reality in a new way, through nocturnal photographs and the developing of the film in the darkroom.
Rafael Y. Herman thus produces a “recreated” reality, purged of any subjective preconceptions, offering the viewer landscapes that exist only in the works themselves. He develops his nocturnal research through the discovery of three different environments: the Forest of Galilee, the fields of the Judaean Mountains, and the Mediterranean Sea. His images encourage us to reflect on the invisible or – as the artist calls it – the “non- seen”; on the difference that unfolds between what is real and what is only perceived. The resulting unnatural hues and evanescent forms are extraordinary, seeming to emerge from a place and time where colors are not real, time is stretched and images become obscure or – perhaps dazzling.
at MACRO Testaccio, Rome
until 26 March 2017