TEL AVIV.- Orit Akta Hildesheim's paintings are defined by a highly detailed form of realism, while their multilayered character is shaped by harmonies of subtle, translucent shades that form an almost monochromatic palette. Her work exceeds the realm of the private and the biographical, yet does not position itself as universal. Her highly precise compositions are formed through a repetitive process of drawing lines and applying tiny patches of color, which come together to form complex images. Her paintings are highly attentive to reality. At the same time, the artist's gaze is introverted and focuses on the tension between presence and absence, the visible and the invisible, and her painterly surfaces are marked by an aesthetic and poetic complexity.
This exhibition's opening series of paintings presents a catalogue of female dress items ranging from a perfectly captured bridal gown to lingerie, which form a collection of visual symbols and female items. The ring, like the slip depicted in other paintings, has an ambivalent meaning. Do these items represent a form of self-assured female sexuality, or rather one that is imprisoned and controlled? Does the fallen ring embody a form of subversive protest against the chains of marriage, or rather a suffocating noose closing in on the woman to whom it belongs?
Chains are a painfully concrete physical object as well as a metaphorical subject, an allegory used by numerous thinkers throughout history to give expression to elements of enslavement in human life. In his famous Allegory of the Cave, for instance, Plato likens human sensory perception to that of people chained in a cave with their back to the sunlight, who are convinced that the shadows projected onto the cave walls are actual objects in the world. According to Plato, a true perception of the world is only possible when's man's soul is freed from its chains, and is able to use the power of thought (and, one may add, of creation) to view things as they truly are.
Orit Akta Hildesheim's work simultaneously involves two movements: one is a movement from the outside inwards, from the sign towards its meaning, from the exterior shell towards the essence or core, in an attempt to reveal the secret hidden within it, to interpret the sign. At the same time, the works involve a movement from the interior outwards, whose aim is liberation and freedom: of the self imprisoned in the body; of sexuality bound by notions of moral purity or familial relations; or of femininity imprisoned within the domestic sphere. These two movements are in fact different expressions of the same gesture, which is aimed at discovery and at shattering restrictive frameworks.