A combination of stills and video projections form the first part of a collaboration between Ruthi Helbitz Cohen and Diana Blok, two visual artists from different creative and cultural backgrounds: painting/drawing and literature/photography; Uruguay and Israel, with the Netherlands as a meeting point.
This project begins in 2022 with pen drawings by Helbitz Cohen on the pages of Virginia Woolf’s experimental novel “The Waves” (1931), that she was gifted by a friend. The artists draw inspiration from each other’s independent works as well as from conversations, images found and texts shared.The drawings were scanned and then bathed on the shores of the North Sea in Holland and on the Greek Mediterranean island of Milos, where the waves transformed and manipulated them. This process was photographed and filmed by Blok, who followed the unexpected transformations. Waves, foam, wind, salt and the sounds of the sea mingled in an alchemical process revealing a new body of work which redefines the image and its meaning.
From Woolf’s ﬂuid and poetic language, they find continuation in the biblical ‘Book of Judith’ exploring her heroic, complex and contradictory personality. Historical memory is used as a lens through which the artists distill, reinterpret, or recall personal, historical, and political events, reworking images and text in the process.
The exhibition is accompanied by a video of the making of Drawing The Waves.
Also on view for the first time are works from Blok’s recent series “Familiar Strangers”, pursuing her interest in the elements air and water, and Helbitz Cohen’s four new large-scale works on paper, filled with partially dissected, transparent female figures.
From 14 October, Ruthi Helbitz Cohen will also be presenting an overview of her large canvases and installations at De Fundatie in Zwolle, to be followed there next year by a large-scale video installation with Diana Blok of their filming of the process behind Drawing The Waves.