Israeli-born American artist Ghiora Aharoni re-mixes time, science, and multiple religions into dazzlingly complex glass assemblages. Seven sculptures from “The Genesis Series” take center stage along with other glass works in an exhibition titled “Inception” on view at Sundaram Tagore Gallery in New York this month.
Aharoni began the “The Genesis Series” in 2008, incorporating iconography and text referencing scientific, spiritual, mystical, and cultural beliefs surrounding creation narratives. The works contain antique glass lab equipment dating from the 1920s-1970s, bird skeletons, miniature trees, and an expansive variety of religious artifacts. In this brief video interview produced by Joods Cultureel Kwartier, Aharoni points out several specific elements, including Torah finials and Muslim ceremonial objects. The glass is etched with the entire first chapters of Genesis.
Equal parts beautiful and jarring, each sculpture feels like a time machine: futuristic, ancient, and unbelievable. Biblical scholars may be additionally confused: Aharoni explains that each sculpture was first constructed to hold only items that represented that specific day of the story (note that each work is titled after the “day”), but upon the completion of the 7th day sculpture, he mixed up the elements across the works to “challenge the linear story of creation.”
Best of all, this collision of science and multiple religions doesn’t feel like a conflict to be solved, but a joyful and curious celebration of humanity and wonder. Or, in the words of Aharoni: “The idea that we are all connected, that the fabric of humanity is inherently interwoven.”
Check out more amazing images of these and additional series on Sundaram Tagore Gallery’s website now, and visit Ghiora Aharoni’s Inception in person if you can, on view through April 30th. It’s a surprising discovery with every step.
All images courtesy of the artist and Sundraram Tagore Gallery.