Ori Gersht: Films and Photos, History Repeating, at the MFA

ongoing – Jan. 13

    Though he uses a modern medium and the latest in contemporary technologies, Israeli-born photographer Ori Gersht captures time like few other artists can. His work, the first comprehensive exhibition of its kind, is at the Museum of Fine Arts. "Ori Gersht: History Repeating" combines Gersht’s painterly photograOri Gershtphs and progressive, provocative films and also combine eras and areas of focus that range from art to politics. There is a film that reflects on the MFA’s own collection and pieces from that collection that have been chosen by Gersht to punctuate his own works.
    The MFA’s Assistant Curator of Contemporary Art Al Miner first found Gersht at such notable venues as The Jewish Museum in New York and The Hirshhorn Museum in Washington, DC. Among Gersht’s most recent and notable accomplishments is his recent inclusion in a limited edition of projection pieces in Times Square. Realizing Gersht’s talent, he approached the artists and soon an artistic relationship was born. “Early in 2011, I went to Ori’s studio in London,” Miner recalls. “We spent hours looking through all his images, going as far back as the late 1990s.”
    The result of their work is not only Gersht’s first comprehensive exhibit but also one of the most integrated exhibits the museum has ever mounted.  “The exhibition and catalogue are truly collaborative projects, with curator and artist working side-by-side from the beginning,” Miner observes.
    Though Gersht’s work has been seen in many of the world’s leading galleries and museums, this is his first comprehensive exhibition. “This is the right moment for Ori Gersht,” Miner suggests, “a time when he’s making the leap to a higher level of success and notoriety; we’re proud to be able to present the first comprehensive survey of his work.”
    In addition to including Gersht’s world-renown pieces, History Repeating will also feature pieces picked by Gersht from the museum’s expansive collection. “The MFA works were chosen by Ori to provide a window into his creative process and the way he views the world,” Miner explains.  “He was given open access to our world-class historic collections and really connected with curators across the museum.” In this way also, Gersht will expand the temporal scope of his work by collecting his contemporary pieces with other timeless examples of artistic expression. “Ori’s work is truly visual poetry,” Miner says. “He seduce[s] viewers into a conversation about the violence of the past and its connection to the present.  It is a combination of intellect and intuition.”

– Matt Robinson

Monday-Tuesday and Saturday-Sunday 10-4:45, Wednesay-Friday 10-9:45. Admission: $25.

465 Huntington Ave., 617-267-9300 www.mfa.org

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