A R C H I V E2 0 0 0  
  Irit Batsry
To Leave and to Take
  USA/BRD/Canada 1997
'To Leave and to Take' and 'These Are Not My Images (neither there nor here)' are both part of the thematic project 'Neither There Nor Here' (1994-ongoing). Unfolding through works that are different in form: installation, feature length film, digital prints and texts, the project speaks of the different meanings of 'place', of being at your own place and being (at the place of) another, of identity and alterity, intimacy and distance.

In 'To Leave and to Take' the viewers walk carefully in a dark space turned into a 'mine-field' by thousands of 'rice-hands' (rice-filled transparent gloves) scattered over the floor or in piled up in heaps reminiscent of trenches. Amidst these tons of rice the viewer is confronted with issues of scarcity and abundance. At the end of the exhibition the rice will be used to generate over 10,000 free meals. The visitors are surrounded by video projections of a hand moving rice from one pile to another, turning the walls and columns into a site of continuous transfer. Projected large on a wall in an 'inner room', the viewers face an old woman endlessly grating a receptacle, alternating with a woman eating in a busy 'third world' street. This projection looks like a window to an 'elsewhere'.
"The space is animated with theatrical lighting effects and video projections which modulate the morphology of the architecture. Sometimes the walls transform into amazing Chinese shadow-plays that look like distant mountains, reinforcing the oriental character of the whole."

(Bernard Lamarche, Le Devoir, 15 October, 1997)
Irit Batsry, 1957, Ramat-Gan (Israel)
Living and working in New York, France and Germany

'To Leave and to Take'
First shown at Oboro, Montreal 1997
Production: Irit Batsry, as artist-in-residence of the Kunsthochschule für Medien, Cologne