Spring Offering for Yanoussa, an album of 12 prints by artist Tamara Rickman and 12 poems by Greek poet Katerina Anghelaki-Rooke, convenes two worlds together. Its pages are imbued not with the spirit of market economy, but with the beauty of a real gift, which opens gradually, revealing a flow of the visible and the hidden.
The encounter between the visual image and the word often initiates an interpretive dialogue that seeks to view the one as an illustration of the other; in this album, the proximity of the independent creative bodies brings to mind aspects of conversation—held face to face over the years between the two artists, in a Tel Aviv coffee house or among the pistachio trees in the poet’s garden on the island of Aegina—and of “walking out to meditate” which recognizes the distance and has a sense of the long, winding road of links woven while the bodies (of the artists and of their work) are set side by side.
“I went to Paris for the red”: Tamara Rikman, Prints
In the winter of 1991, during the Gulf War, Tamara Rikman stayed in Jerusalem. There, at the Jerusalem Print Workshops, she etched her reaction to the horror of destruction: love immersed in the obligation to creative work. In these 12 prints, in which she applies a wide range of etching techniques, a love story, or perhaps a story of holding on to love, is embroidered. An apple appears in the midst of many of these prints, an object of pleasure passed between a man and a woman, embodying the many voices that make up the discourse of love. It is the essence of passion as it floats above their heads, the flesh that is lustily tasted, sexual awakening and its fruit cradled in its parents’ lap; above all, it seems that being placed in the heart of events, right in the middle, signifies it as defining space and its boundaries. The apple’s very existence hints at breaching the boundaries of the personal towards a merging, as well as at the abyss between the sexes, and at love being, at the end of the day, a nontransferable, solitary experience. The apple appears in the space defined by the skin, by the bodies’ outline, which Rikman notched with an iron brush. The line’s decisiveness changes in the interim zones, bustling with movement. The lovers’ lips are sketched in the plates in varying thicknesses and various depths of etching, as if to illuminate the metaphoric realms of the lover, for whom the language is a skin.
“The ashen woman receives a message of spring”: Katerina Anghelaki-Rooke, poems Yanoussa is the ashen woman who receives a message of spring in the collection of poems bearing her name; she is the feminine incarnation of Yanos, the name of the poet’s father, a word whose meaning is woven in the poem and then laid out in it like fabric. While the sound of the name is reminiscent of Janus, the Roman god of gates and transitions, the turned-back gaze recognizes the big structures on which Anghelaki-Rooke’s poetry is based, the voice of the timeless anonymous epos to which she refers and from which she escapes in “But back into the sea of I am.” Her writing does not face the world from an intellectual distance but rather, as the title of her poem, “Out of her Life”—from within the mundane that Eros has come to arouse.
Source: Tel Aviv Museum of Art