• Ali Silverstein - The Residence at Bialik
    The Residence at Bialik
  • Ali Silverstein - Nahalat Binyamin
    Nahalat Binyamin
  • Ali Silverstein - A wall of sheets blowing on a rooftop
    A wall of sheets blowing on a rooftop
  • Ali Silverstein - Windows
    Windows
  • Ali Silverstein - Windows
    Windows
  • Ali Silverstein - Windows
    Windows
  • Ali Silverstein - Windows and Doors
    Windows and Doors
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  • Ali Silverstein - Recreating Windows
    Recreating Windows
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  • Ali Silverstein - Arlette and Shimon's alterations shop
    Arlette and Shimon's alterations shop
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Residency: Tel Aviv

From Fouad Ajami, discussing Lebanon: “There was something there that was very fragile. The communities were of vastly different temperaments and different cultures of various levels of development. So when the map of the modern Arab world was drawn after World War I, this ....  was from the very beginning a quilt, an impossible quilt of communities.

Almost right away, I began to notice the varied grids of the windows there.  I photographed them and then drew the grids in pen. 

... I began to look for other ways to explore the “layers” there, the covering and revealing of religions and history and cultures ....  The Bialik residence is very close to a cobblestoned street called Nahalat Binyamin, a street lined with shops selling fabrics from all over the world.  I began to recreate the grids of the windows in these fabrics, each fabric representing/referencing a culture and/or a history.  Windows made of the collision of cultures; windows one cannot see through; impossible windows. 

I was so lucky to find Arlette and Shimon and their local sewing and alterations shop.  I sat for hours each day, chatting with Arlette about life and love, helping to cut and measure the fabric, and meeting their customers. 

The old, crumbling buildings in Tel Aviv that were built in a hurry in the 1950’s are now being renovated all over the city.  I began to paint the grids of the windows on canvas, using only three colors to mix subtle browns and greys.  The rough surface and sandy colors feel like the crumbling buildings. The fabric windows are then hung in front of them, casting a shadow.  Another layer.  The feeling of these pieces is very much the feeling of Tel Aviv to me.  History seeping around the sides of impossible quilts of cultures colliding.

All of these works were made so that they could be deconstructed and taken back to the studio where I will finish them and continue the exploration into the aesthetics of religions and “impossible” walls and windows.  More to come. 

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