"A fragment is a piece of breakage, a section, or remnant. It developed as a concept mainly over the past two centuries, appearing in the discourse of several fields, including art, science, and philosophy. A fragment is considered part of a whole yet can also stand alone as something that can be reconnected and whose meaning may change.
Hila Laiser Beja invites viewers to a personal journey through which she explores the possibility of being a fragment and a whole at the same time, of breaking down and coming together anew, of being in a state of movement between places. Transitional movement is facilitated by openings that create dialogue, connecting the works in the exhibition – the passage at the entrance to the gallery, loopholes (firing slits) in Jerusalem’s Old City walls, windows and doors in the image of a house – forming transitions between interior and exterior, between the domestic and public.
The transition in the exhibition space is simultaneously on the physical and the consciousness levels, offering a multiplicity of viewpoints and recognition of a complex reality. Conscious awareness remains present in Laiser Beja’s works in the loose, continuous, linear drawing made in a stream of consciousness, as in the work To Be a Fragment.
The surroundings and the urban space are reflected in her oeuvre, sometimes through the choice of working with construction materials such as iron and concrete, and at other times through images, as in the loopholes from the Jaffa Gate.
The home, a repeated motif in Laiser Beja’s works, takes on a connection to the cityscape’s architecture through the pair of iron sculptures Loophole Home, proposing a new link between the internal domestic and the external urban space. The Old City wall, like the home, provides protection to those sheltering inside, but is also a barrier. The openings facilitate discourse, coexistence, and a different kind of experience, which is emphasized through disrupting the loopholes’ function by sealing and doubling them.
Unlocked, the drawing of the golden rosette, is another connection to locale, corresponding with the decorations on Jerusalem’s Old City wall: the grids of the charcoal lines create a construction looking like a conceptual sketch, a skeleton in the form of a decorative gate. These are lines of thought organized into a “mind construction,” an image of an internal soul structure which facilitates Laiser Beja’s movement and transition from place to place, as well as allowing external viewers to see deeply inside."
Sivan Eran Levian
Jerusalem, April 2023