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Mati Elmaliach  Artist Statement

Elmaliach's art stems from his life as an Israeli artist and his personal biography -  introspecting personal memory versus the collective memory in the society in which he lives.
Emerging from the field of photography, he chooses not to create new images, but rather, bases his work on existing photos. Thus, in place of adding images to the collective repository, he creates new images from those that already exist.

Elmaliach chooses to focus on the images taken from his own archive, those of his family and friends, or images of others from the Israeli past, which he does not know but tries to comprehend. He attempts to redefine the role of the photographed image within the totality in which it is located; the image becomes an object, starting point substance, losing its original role and becoming a novel entity. Elmaliach dissolves the image into material and then redefines it.

In Elmaliach's studies, he examines the formality and texture of the material; he does this by folding, duplicating, perforating, weaving and placing in space. Elmaliach examines the process by which the image becomes the material itself, forming a new and different image, with new connotations, in two to three dimensions.


Elmaliach's work echoes and activates a familiar mechanism of identification, empathy and compassion of the viewer with the image, an image that could originate in any Israeli family album; on the other hand, the new images generate novel connotations, dilemmas and personal interpretations: a renewed sense of personal and collective memory, intertwining truth and fiction, object and image.

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