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Now on view at the Testaccio headquarters at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Rome (MACRO) is an exhibition by Israeli artist Rafael Y. Herman entitled “The Night Illuminates The Night.” Curated by Giorgia Calo and Stefano Rabolli Pansera, the exhibit resembles an environmental installation, which includes photographs that were created by the artist between 2010-2016 during the night. The exhibition, a five year dialogue that the artist established with old masters, showcases a depiction of the Holy Land—a land that they had never seen, but recreated in their own way. Herman was curious of the way things are seen and imagined, in the light and in the dark, and often asks questions like, “If it is not seen, does it exist?” and “If it exists, in what way? Is it exactly the way we see it in everyday light? What is the role of light in existence?”
Like old masters did in their paintings, Herman produced ideal landscapes through a recreated reality for his audience; allowing the viewer to be free of subjective bias. His use of recreated realities rests in the form of three outdoor environments—the forest of Galilee, the fields of the Judean Mountain, and the Mediterranean Sea—and guides the viewer to reflect on the invisible, or the “not seen,” as the artist refers to it as.
To coincide with the exhibition, Herman has released a book, published by Mousse, with texts by Giorgia Calo, Stefano Rabolli Pansera, Chiara Vecchiarelli, and Arturo Schwarz. The exhibition is also proudly supported by the city of Rome, and a variety of established foundation sponsors, including: the Embassy of Israel in Italy-Cultural Office; IIFCA-Italy-Israel Foundation for Culture and the Arts; Friends of the Tel Aviv Museum of Art; and the Cité Internationale des Arts de Paris.
“The Night Illuminates The Night” is on view through March 26, 2017.