The work of Ori Gersht, a fine Arts photography & Film professor at the University for the Creative Arts- where I’ve got my MFA- was just what I was looking for. His landscapes are eerily breathtaking, evoking a mysterious past that the art directors of Game of Thrones would be jealous of. The series of his that I’m most enamored by is his 2007 photographic beauties titled “Blow Up”. Inspired by the still lives of Henri Fantin-Latour, Gersht made beautiful floral arrangements and coiffed them perfectly to be photographed. Then he blew them up.
The result is an amazing collection of moments- with colours that when stagnant present feelings of serenity, but in their recorded state of explosion provoke panic and alarm. Flowers, fleeting icons of beauty and ironically symbols of peace and stability despite their short shelf life, are ripped apart by an event that is undeniably profound and life-altering. Complete destruction of a mirage of the ideal.
I came across the ‘Blow up’ series while I’ve been looking for art work that represents how I’m feeling about my current stance towards what’s going on today in Egypt. To be honest with you, I don’t quite have one. I’m so genuinely confused and distraught by what’s going on that every day I have a new opinion, only for it to be completely dismantled when I read further, ask those around, hear their theories or go through my twitter feed. I have no idea where the truth lies and like many Egyptians I had previously taken great comfort in practicing my ostrichism. Now, being bombarded by news, I have no choice but to wake up from my stupor and participate- no matter what my opinion is, I need to formulate one and stand by it. I’m scared by this, and I feel my rose coloured glasses have been shattered in a way that no one can fix. And they were Prada.