Evaders: Far Off Mountains and Rivers. 2009.
59 7/8″ x 90 1/2″.
Courtesy of the artist and CRG Gallery, NY.
As if granting entry, the jagged cliffs open up to reveal the territory of a dream. The image is from Evaders, a retelling of Walter Benjamin’s flight from Vichy France. Echoing the landscapes of Romantic painters, Gersht’s sublime vision emanates power and beauty in equal measure. Engrossed in this scene, one might fail to notice that beneath the towering crags rests a squat leather satchel. In Evaders, Benjamin struggles through passages like this one, clinging fiercely to the bag. It allegedly contained an unpublished manuscript, now lost to history. But in this place, the satchel survives, and with it, the promise of some unheard voice gaining audience. The photo is a composite, stitched together from different negatives. Recombining features of the natural landscape, Gersht dispenses with historical record to realize a new vision of the past.
–Virginia McBride ’15
Gund Gallery Associate