Patience, The Believers, Bat Yam Museum, curator by Hila Cohen-Schneiderman, 2019 photos by Tal Nisim
Chen Cohen documents her performative acts through video, and from them she extracts still images which she prints in a simple black and white xerox print, filling an entire wall. as a photographer, Cohen supposedly chooses a priori to work with “the wrong tool”, since the transformation from video into a still image, condemns the image into a low quality print, with no chance to be “rich” in the accepted sense of the word.
The paper she uses is fragile, easily wrinkled, and it is not durable over a long period of time. The gauntness, illness and fragility of the body are subjects Cohen deals with through her work. Her decision to execute the performance in front of the camera, only to then freeze, dissect and print it can be interpreted as an action of killing and resurrection. Cohen worked on the current installation during her stay at the residency program of the Cite, Paris. In which she decided to transform from a creating artist to a cared for artist, or in other words - from an acting artist, into one which is acted upon: she invited people into her room - weather it was women who moved her bed towards the window, or a couple of artists to sculpt her ill hand out of plaster, and to mold a form of masks from her body.
Cohen transforms personal challenges and experiences into a fundamental question regarding the possibility to heal: “When the result is out of our hands, we must put our trust in the hands of others. Our faith. I am attentive to the words which women creators had said and written in times of disease and suffering. Women who felt that their end was near, I listen to them as if hearing a prayer. In their voice I find a closeness to a godly presence.”
Text by Hila Cohen-Schneiderman