Ilit Azoulay, No Things Dies
The work "No Thing Dies" by Ilit Azoulay was created in the depths of the Israel Museum in Jerusalem. The museum was built in 1965 in the belief that it would help anchor the young state's cultural identity. No Thing Dies" examines the social class that has underpinned this process over the last 52 years, and perhaps shows how it maintains the illusion of dialogue with the "other" cultures of the Middle East.
For three years, Azoulay spent most of his time in the Israel Museum's storage rooms, looking through its collections and interviewing various curators, archivists and conservators. She recorded these conversations and gradually discovered the many artifacts that were never publicly displayed, along with the stories about their original purpose, their journey to the museum, and the challenges of preserving and displaying them.
These stories revealed the curators and restorers' deep connection to each artifact in their collection. The selected objects were photographed, analyzed, classified and finally compiled into an image database that in some way reflects the invisible, lifelong work of those who preserve, research, restore, archive, etc. While recent surveillance technologies, similar to Azoulay's photographic technique, Reducing the gap between image and data, Azoulay's composite images instead reintroduce uncertainty, mystery and complexity.
"No Thing Dies" is inspired by the tradition of Persian miniature books commissioned by the ruling monarchs and praising their names and deeds: a kind of early propaganda that took place in salons and courts.