At the center of the main space of Eitan Ben Moshe’s exhibition, within a functional-looking, rectangular structure, stands a tabletop that looks like a frozen pool or glacier, on which various transparent objects are placed. It is a spectacle reminiscent of a prophecy of ecological devastation, a chemical experiment that has failed and imploded, or a celebration that has gone terribly wrong. We are invited to enter a dim space lit with a magical glow of refracted light and repeated echoes of shadows and reflections.
The sculptures on that surface are hybrid compositions of pieces of items from different fields and time periods: test-tubes for distilling liquids; microscopic structures of ice crystals and minerals from a biology lab; fragments of ware of the sort one might see in a domestic display cabinet, made of glass, polymers, plastic or crystal, some custom-blown and shaped by hand, some ready-made objects, and some 3D-printed; salts and glittering hallucinogenic powders. Above all, however, we can sense a refusal of all of these to submit to a fixed, logical, unified, and organized narrative.
The inner space of the exhibition becomes an alchemical setting that breathes life and beauty into a mechanical butterfly. It is drawn, as though spellbound, to the seductive light, and is trapped and frozen within it, thereby fulfilling its transformative destiny and its tragic, predestined fate. At the end of the structure, hanging side by side in a row, are five large white suits of glossy fabric, a cross between scientist cloaks and ceremonial suits of mysterious ministers of some esoteric spiritual order. The five suits echo the five fingers of the white hand sculpture situated at the end of the space. Is this the hand of the creator? On the hand’s wrist an incomplete pentagon is drawn, crystalline in shape. The signal has been given: this is the Time of the Crystal.
Ben Moshe sees crystals as pure accidents that instill order within the chaos of creation. They existed here long before us, and will continue to do so long after we are gone – ad infinitum, or thus far, per the title of the exhibition.
The exhibition includes another space, featuring an installation of foam mattresses, akin to soft floor sculptures, that form a circle. At the center is a kinetic glass sculpture, whose repetitive action produces a meditative sound. Printed on the mattresses are images that look like kaleidoscopic Rorschach stains, derived from digital processing of photographs of butterfly wings. Visitors who are willing to cross the lines are invited to lie on the mattresses (with due care, of course) and surrender themselves to the Time of the Crystal.
The exhibition is supported by the Friends of the Museum and by the Israel Lottery Council for Culture and the Arts.