„Poems in black ink“

A couple of weeks ago, I happened to be in Israel. Always when I am this country, I try to visit one of my favourite places, Ralli Museum. Actually, there are two of them (Ralli 1, opened in 1993 and Ralli 2, opened in 2007) located on the same spot, in Caesarea, a small coast town between Tel Aviv and Haifa.  It inherits its name from the ancient city of Caesarea Maritima, which was built by Herod the Great about 25–13 BCE. Caesarea was a major port and the administrative center of the province of Judaea in the Roman Empire.

Both museums are founded by the Harry Recanati Foundation, a private non-profit institution who supports contemporary Latin American art and presents it to the public. Besides these two museums in Israel there are three additional in Uruguay, Chile and Spain. The Ralli Museums house one of the most important and interesting collections of contemporary Latin American art in the world.

Besides permanent expositions, the museum arranges temporally exhibitions. The one, I visited the last time, was devoted to the collages by Rony Someck. Its title is „Poems in black ink“. Special is that Rony Someck is not an artist. Although he studied drawing once, he is mainly a poet and writer, whose works have been translated into many languages. Someck was born in Baghdad and came to Israel as a young child. He studied Hebrew literature and philosophy at Tel Aviv University.

Writers and scientists are the people closest to handwriting. It is therefore not surprising that handwritings are often on display in the collages in Caesarea. The collages are actually Someck’s poems. In the introduction booklet it is written: “Those works, like his poems, grew up in the medium of collage. They decided remain in the realms of the raw. The black ink marks and the yellow brush strokes frequently present in them are sometimes the negatives of asphalt and soot, sometimes the trail of the scratching of the shattered Arak bottle, and sometimes they dent of the blow of the hammer of everyday life. The figures that sprout between the words are from within them are both the imagery and its ruin.”