Avraham Eilat
The Art of Museums

Avraham Eilat's photographic series, The Art of Museums, shows various museums and their interiors. Empty galleries, visitor-packed halls; together, they refer to the cold dullness of the quotidian while also being infused with a sense of enlightened mysticism.

The museum of today is a European construct, a tool used to struggle against mortality and oblivion. An institution that asks (in material terms) to maintain in the present the artworks and the objects that have been created in other conditions and circumstances, in other places and times. All of the museum’s main and auxiliary facilities (galleries, cloakrooms, toilets, entrances, stairwells and other functional units) are designed and constructed with the visitor’s access to these bygone times and conditions in mind, utilising encounter with the art object. Hence people, after work or on weekends, coming to the museum accepts the condition of being found in imagining the missing (other times and spaces) and ignoring the present (now and in this place), namely in two simultaneous states of living memory: of remembering and forgetting.

The artist’s photographs show both material hardness, and also its transparency and shine, those fleeting qualities that disappear into silence, much like the mind’s processing of memory. They represent intervals of time, as recorded at the time of the photograph, that lie outside of the typical working hours of the museum, the time range that is not experienced by the visitor but rather absorbed by the art object.

Nazareth Karoyan