> Eleonora Lucangeli

Beyond the Wall...

 

Michel Kirch's work tells of a desire to search beyond reality for a part of himself that almost cannot be spoken of, a poetic universe, which only the filter of his glance allows it to be revealed.

His images are pervaded by a yearning for silence, sought our away from the frenzied world and the accelerated and frantic rhythms of modern life.

It is through his photographic research that the artist gives himself a time and space to be calm, to meditate, to choose peace and the quiet of the senses. But everything is not as it appears. Even if ultimately these elements are always resolved and harmony restored, this space is not free from violence and anxiety. This quest for space, unconditional right of freedom, reveals an outside-inside effect where the externel world, like a highly sensitive lens, amplifies and nurtures the space within. This is why his buildings are often run down, empty, lacerated, the landscapes open to the elements, free to embrace the winds and the horizon...while human beings as solitary figures appear suspended, weightless, as if they are holding back time. A symbolic man, fragile, often a speck in the distance, silhouetted between darkness and light, life and death.

The body of photographs in the exhibition Beyond the Wall... are part of a broader project completed in Israel during the second Intifada; here Michel Kirch depicts one aspect of the day-to-day life in Israel, a different face of a day in the troubled nation. This place, the sea "front", becomes one, undivided and invisible.

On one hand the artist offers a sequence; on the other, the meaning of the images he produces, whatever they are, becomes one with the structure revealed in each individual photograph, thus making it a visual symbol endowed with a life and expression of its' own. Images appear as though suspended, in an uncertain equilibrium, they encompass echoes of a tension that reveals itself even in moments of the outmost, apparent tranquillity. At the same time, they are attuned to the classical principles of harmony in the state of apparent calm.

A graphic and distressing metaphor of a painful laceration in our history. One could almost call it another One Hundred Years War... so many years have passed since the historic draw that assigned the lots of land along of Tel Aviv, on 11 Avril 1909. The white city, the city that never stops, open, dynamic, thriving and above all secular. Close and yet incredibly distant from Jerusalem; just think of the old saying Jerusalem cries and Tel Aviv plays. But Tel Aviv is above all a scene of removal. In this way the beach symbolizes its people's attempt to ignore the conflict and look ahead or simply elsewhere.

In the images Kirch sees the beach as outlet, a source of life, a possible "elsewhere"; yet while taking his peaceful, paradoxical pictures, across the borders the Intifada rages.

With his usal gracefulness he explains: "These images are my wish, my invitation to always look for a way, as testimony of a possibilty of peace, to see what lies beyond the wall..."

 

Eleonora Lucangeli