Where Science Meets Art

Eitan Vitkon
"Blowing in the Wind"
Feinberg Graduate School / David Lopatie Hall of Graduate Studies, Weizmann Institute of Science

In our need for order and stability, we are accustomed to see the straight lines in the buildings of cities like New York as a sort of validation of a “good” world order. The photographs of Eitan Vitkon infringe on this sense of security. The sight of buildings that are blowing in the wind or swept in a current are disturbing, indicating uncertainty.

The photographs are created with mirrors made of metallic foil or soap bubbles – two materials that, despite their “weakness,” manage to overpower the tall buildings and redesign them as something dynamic. The image is of a parallel reality that is changing and flowing, but definitely not benign. This world view is surprising in light of the fact that Vitkon is a trained architect – a field that aims to create a fixed, enduring reality.

In the series of ocean photographs, Vitkon goes in the opposite direction, using precise timing to secure and situate a moving wave. Together, the two series of photographs are a sort of reality check: We experience a growing doubt as to whether what we see is “clear and understood.” Stable buildings are swept off their foundations so that we can’t know where they will be a second from now; while the waves that we have understood to be a phenomenon of continual movement are shown to us as something that is surprisingly solid.

What then is reality? Are Vitkon’s photographs nothing but a technical manipulation – an optical effect? Or do they expose a deeper property of the real world that is hidden beneath the cloak of our sensory perceptions?

 

Curator: Yivsam Azgad

 

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