Page 12 - Lior Gal
P. 12

Flowers of Perhaps
            Jill Silverman van Coenegrachts

            A lactic transformation from stone to flowers to time itself vibrates from edges of this collection
            of alabaster stones harvested from a dried riverbed carving the Tuscan hills.
            HowLior Gal came to choose these stones, alabaster precisely is like a performance linked to
            his earlier photographic works culled similarly from nomadic solitary expeditions. Gal is an
            artist of uncompromising patterns, like mystics before him, he searches out the unseen, the
            little known, the exceptionally lost objects and moments, which coalesce in front of him and if
            believed in the forces greater than our own, rising up before his eyes singing.

            Moremportantly is the rhythm and tone of how his objects transpose forms from one language
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            into another through his hands. Thus, alabaster stones become flowers. Not just in the way
            these stones were used once by ancients to make lamps and windows, but with a stubborn
            insistence that stone is a flower. On sub-atomic levels we now know the calcium in alabaster
            is the same as our bones, and these chemical properties in the smallest elements are vibrating
            at the same level in all life forms. Stone is alive; we are one sea of lactic opaqueness all of us.

            The constants are not holding, we have come through a period that makes this perfectly clear,
            so why not now let the magical and the mystical open the thresholds of perception in all
            senses. Notwithstanding a future which is completely opaque, like seminal fluid, filled with the
            milky potential of life in its continuity, starting and stopping like the thin flaky layers of stone that
            can peel away to reflect almost transparent golden light.

            An earlier version of this was placed in a small pie slice of land next to a concrete roadway in
            Leuven, Belgium, walled in like a lost bit of landscape left between buildings and off ramps
            considered more important than this left-over bit of urban territory. His installation created a
            chapel en plein air, by just having these stones reflecting daylight amidst this urban sprawl.
            How is such a thing possible, this is magic and few can work in this way; with humility and
            knowing like the alchemists of the past who understood the way material properties change.
            On some level, unthreatening, a terrain of disparate elements making one calm whole of
            unexpected grace.
            unexpected grace.

            But he dares something else here; the possibility of beauty, or nature finding its roots again, the
            possibility of unaligned things finding a new coherence in maybe. This off-centre approach is
            both awkward and charming, a way that his work sets the viewer back, creating a distance
            while at the same time enticing you to let the past go and find new roots in this still very
            uncertain present.

            This is the fertile ground where Gal’s Flowers of Perhaps live - the imaginary possibilities of
            forms changing, transforming from one that we know to one that we can only imagine if we
            close our eyes and listen to what is unseen. In this half waking dream state alabaster becomes
            a flower, it rises from the salty waters of our oceans. Like a seer, Gal has an insistent belief in
            his own perceptions, they sooth us like a lullaby and disarm at the same time.

            Withthe speed of thought and belief this garden of stone flowers becomes our portal for a
            condition between things, a perhaps that offers a new system of freedom on the edges where
            dialectical energies coalesce and new relationships float into being. Offering momentary
            redemption of a kind, if one is a believer in any real sense, in any tradition you choose.
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