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Time didn't exist -
Space didn't either

Diana Kogan

Curator: Smadar Sheffi

18.11.21 - 18.12.21

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Diana Kogan’s exhibit, ”Time didn’t exist, space didn’t either,”  is comprised of hundreds of pages torn out of books on which the artist blackened portions of the text, leaving fragmented sentences which, as if through a miraculous alchemy, are transformed into poetry.

Kogan finds books in the streets, and takes in the rejected and scorned volumes as an act of healing. She acknowledges the yellowing pages as a readymade, and restores them to the world of culture. 

With pencil strokes in soft lead, she covers the printed lines, painstakingly preserving the paragraphs and spaces; the individual words and parts of text that she leaves uncovered come together into short, poetic sentences. Her act of erasure resonates previous works of art by Kazimir Malevich, Robert Rauschenberg, Joseph Kosuth, and others.

Obliterating images and text in an act of censorship embodies a certain violence. Kogan’s selective erasure may also be thought of in terms of reductive sculpture, as excavation that leaves words and fragments exposed.

The pages are the site of an encounter between the manual action applied to them and the print, between the forgotten and the emphasized. The concealed-erased text is like a husk in relation to the exposed-emphasized text. Although the act of erasure-the making absent that Kogan creates is reminiscent of sculpture, but the expressive painterliness of the line has an intense presence. 

Kogan covers texts but does not obliterate them completely. The longer one looks at Kogan’s works, the relationship between the suppressed and the exposed becomes less dichotomous. The texts float in the fields of the covered letters, resulting in visual poetry. Row upon row of pages surround viewers; various-sized cylinders lean on the walls like poles from an unknown game, or closed scrolls. The cylinders are covered with monochromatic graphite, while a close examination shows that they resemble the texture of skin. 

The “pillars” are undecipherable, as if they emerged from a Romantic painting of ancient ruins, in a dialogue with the torn-out pages. They evoke the cyclic nature of time and the stratification of knowledge, the way in which images change yet stay engraved in cultural memory.



Kogan’s covered texts, pages from discarded books, cradle poetry:

“Time didn’t exist, space didn’t either”

Exhibition Credits:

Curator: Smadar Sheffi

Graphic Design: Avihai Mizrahi

Photography: Tal Nisim

Text Editor: Shoey Raz

English Translation: Judith Appleton

Set up: Koby Davider

Print: A.R. Printing Ltd

Production: Yaniv Lachman

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