The SIC! BWA Wrocław gallery invites you to the exhibition of the Israeli artist Ella Littwitz. The presentation entitled If Everything That Exists Has a Place features the artist’s latest works resulting from her numerous visits and research carried out on the Jordan-Israel border, on the southern part of the Jordan, near its mouth into the Dead Sea.
The main site of such trips was Qasr al-Yahud. In the Christian tradition, this is where Jesus was baptised, while according to the Old Testament accounts, the Israelites entered the Promised Land here after forty years of wandering in the desert. Ella Littwitz’s works draw on the biblical narratives about this place and to the overlapping of complex geopolitical issues rooted in history, mythology and ideology. Many of the featured objects refer to the human need to mark out boundaries, which may later be blurred or altered by natural factors, making the actual limits of an area or territory depend on the interplay of these two processes. Littwitz notices the inseparable connection between human and non-human activity, the historical agency of both forces. The artist also poses questions about the status and lability of the objects presented at the exhibition, as well as the factors determining the uniqueness of a given place and affecting the ways of experiencing it.
The scope of Littwitz’s artistic research includes archaeology, history, nature and agriculture as crucial elements in the context of culture and geopolitics. The artist reproduces and recreates various artefacts, often accompanied by specific plant species, which may be significant for many reasons. On the basis of the abovementioned motives, Littwitz’s works reveal the mechanisms behind concepts such as national identity or political and geographical boundaries, redefining popular beliefs and convictions about them.
The artist’s practice, including her new works making up the exhibition If Everything That Exists Has a Place, often refers to threads directly connected with Israel. Therefore, the presentation raises issues referring to archaeological research, political and historical narratives, as well as those related to territorialisation. Littwitz’s installations, sculptures, drawings and embroidery address the problem of conquered territories, the so-called no man’s land, mixed territories, borders and migration.
In her activities, Littwitz touches upon very universal values, while retaining the distinctive characteristics of the complex Middle Eastern situation. She invites the audience to the world of contemporary Israeli art, which is neither well known nor often presented in Poland. Meanwhile, subjects such as the liquidity of borders, territorial affiliation or historical memory, which constitute the semantic core of the artist’s latest series of works, will be very well understood in Lower Silesia in particular, a region whose borders have been sanctioned relatively recently and in which the traces of its former and current inhabitants are so often overlapping.
The first presentation of the series of works by Ella Littwitz was held at the Center for Contemporary Art in Tel Aviv, followed by an exhibition at the alexander levy gallery in Berlin before coming to Wrocław. In each of these places, it could be understood and interpreted slightly differently, through the unique local context.
Curator: Agata Ciastoń
About the artist:
Ella Littwitz lives and works in Israel. She has graduated from the Higher Institute for Fine Arts (Ghent, Belgium) and the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design in Jerusalem. Her works have been presented at numerous exhibitions in some of the most prestigious galleries and museums in Israel, Europe and the USA, including at the 6th Biennale in Moscow, 12th Biennale in Istanbul, Kunstverein in Salzburg (Austria), at the Herzliya Museum of Contemporary Art (Israel), the Petach Tikva Museum of Art (Israel), Kunstihoone in Tallinn (Estonia), Kunst Halle Sankt Gallen (Switzerland) or Wrocław Contemporary Museum (Poland). Littwitz has been a multiple beneficiary of various art programmes around the world.