A Traveler Guide Across the Threshold
In 2006, I walked into an art gallery in Reykjavik, the capital of Iceland. One of the works in the exhibition touched my heart deeply and stayed with me to this very day. It was a video work with a lonely swan drifting slowly on a lake which was full with spectacular light diffraction. The atmosphere was dream-like, a memorable sight. I still vividly remember how the light leaped across the water. The work was named "Liminality", a word I wasn't familiar with until then, but once became acquainted with, gave a name and form for something which will accompany me ever since. An attraction for liminal, threshold states, attraction for the Transcendence.
Liminality means crossing boundaries, crossing the threshold. It is taken from the field of anthropology of religion and marks the same stage in which in threshold orientated rituals, especially rites of passage, man is not yet in the new position but he has already left the old one.
It is an intermediate space. The no-man's area or limbo which is not where we came from but also not the place to which we are going to.
The liminal condition is characterized by a lack of clarity, hesitation, uncertainty.
Self identity is unclear and experience a lack of disorientation.
The space is a space of doubt, of wonder, a space of search.
The liminal space is a space of expectation.
Art and creation have a unique connection to the state of liminality.
Artists themselves enter into a state of liminality when creating, as liminality is a state of creative being.
This is the space where there is a potential to act, but you haven't done so yet.
Seven years ago, during my studies in Bezalel academy, Doctor Roni Zabar came to talk with the students as part of a seminar course about death. Doctor Roni is the founder and medical director of "Zabar Medical Health", a nationwide hospice service provided to terminally ill patients.
Doctor Zabar talked with us about his many years of work alongside terminally ill patients.
It was a conversation full of compassion, kindness and human warmth.
At the time, Doctor Zabar wanted to initiate an exhibition of students at" Bezalel" which will discuss the end of life and help to raise awareness towards death, a taboo topic in our society. A topic rarely talked about due to its complexity and sensitivity.
On that very same day, during the conversation, an idea came to my mind, but' unfortunately, such exhibition never materialized in the end.
However, ever since the, I never stopped thinking about it and told myself that one day I will make the work I was thinking of.
My idea was to make a kind of kit, an orientation guide for crossing the threshold.
Imaginary devices or instruments that will help a person to deal with the imminent partying from life.
At the time, I though it will be a kit for the people who are about to part from life, but maybe it is just as well a kit for the people who stay behind and have to say goodbye to their loved ones who are about to cross the threshold.
Apparently things were waiting for the right moment, when they were supposed to happen and materialize.
Over the years, the idea for such a kit has remained abstract and undergone many incarnations.
My beloved grandmother passed away a year ago. My father and I accompanied her until her death. During the last night of her life we stayed with her at the hospital.
We gave her a bath and put her to sleep. At this point she no longer recognized us. she was hazy, drowned in deep dementia which has been taking overthe last course of her life until it became everything.
The next morning she died at the hospital.
A few months ago she came to visit me a few times in my dreams.
With her emergence in my dreams, the "Traveler Guide Across the Threshold" materialized and transformed from an abstract idea into reality.