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Now & Then

In the works of the artist anna sherbany  different strands come together. One strand is the story of her ancestors who came from Iraq and whom the artist carries etched within her soul. Another strand that took her from the country of her birth - Israel, with all its ancestral cultural, ethnic and religious baggage, the result of those human exchanges and mixtures which make it fascinating – to the land where she arrives as a foreigner, where for many she is a stranger but which she finally adopts as ‘home’.

The creator defines herself as follows: ‘I am a woman, a Jewish Woman, an Arabic -Jewish Woman, an Immigrant Arabic -Jewish Woman, an Israeli-born-Immigrant--Arabic -Jewish Woman, an Israeli-born-Immigrant-Arabic -Jewish Woman Artist’.

This Jewish Arab immigrant woman artist born in Israel has lived with (and continues to live with) issues such as rejection, acceptance, the existential weight of past and present, the power of appearances, the struggle between opposites. That is, she moves, struggles and survives in a world of contrasts which constitute the bases on which she constructs models in the search for her true identity.

Anna is an alchemist of subtle light, the mistress of a cold irony and of a visual language whose directness reveals to the viewer - in each of her representations - the mysteries contained in the elements that have forged her, since she herself is essence and consequence, cause and effect, of her own creative force.

Between soft light and brilliant shadow, she places realities and symbols of a fragmented identity which is consolidated as a result of constant questioning, clashes, encounters and re-encounters.

Her suggestive images point to the constant struggle of human beings with themselves in their search for identity, for the real ‘I’, a struggle in which, everywhere on earth, they lay down their arms and take them up again, because their search reflects a common origin - and thus we can find that lost identity that is also attempting to come towards us, where we least expect it.

Anna knows that the human race, diverse, complex, unstable, fragile, obscure and luminous, at the same time constitutes a single unit and that predeterminate classifications such as ‘race’, ‘religion’ and ‘socio-economic status’ are nothing but labels beyond which the flame of the only true reality burns.

The artist puts within our grasp her contribution to contemporary art, her photographic metaphors by means of which she makes us stop at the threshold of chiaroscuro and retrieve from the attic of ancestral memory that identity which we seem to be losing day by day. As long as we remain able to look our dreams in the face - even if only for an instant - we have won the most essential battle.

It is a privilege for CONCULTURA that El Salvador is the first Latin American country to host this Mistress of visual art, whose lens goes deeper than any words.

María Cristina Orantes
Director Sala Nacional de Exposiciones
San Salvador, ES