Pillar of Salt is a new solo exhibition by Ella Littwitz currently on view at Alexander Levy gallery in Berlin. Littwitz’s art deals with issues informed by the political, social, and cultural landscapes by appropriating and recreating different objects connected to the land (from relics to plants), particularly her native Israel. Employing an archival approach to art, Littwitz uses historical documents, archeological artifacts, memorabilia, soil, and other elements of political and cultural significance to examine notions of national identity, territory, ideology, and history. She calls into question the authority given to the archive as something scientifically neutral and valid. Instead, she approaches it as a complex site of political constructs and narratives.
In Pillar of Salt, Littwitz challenges the conception of frontiers as immovable lines. Interested in the constant desire of men to create sovereign ideologies through drawing borders and controlling nature, the artist re-conceptualizes space and borders as perpetually mutable. For the exhibition, Littwitz focuses on locations along the Southern part of the Jordan River, where the border between Jordan and Israel is along the water and where two tectonic plates collide, causing a constant terrain shift. The site is believed to be where the Israelites crossed the Jordan River into the land of Canaan after 40 years of wandering. According to the Christian tradition, it is also the place where St. John baptized Jesus Christ. Littwitz’s interest in this specific piece of land stems from its being a cross-path of religions, geography and politics, and water and soil. Her works echo the Biblical and modern narratives associated with these areas, presenting us with diverse examples of transition, transfiguration, and the formation of political constructs through acts of belief.
The show is on display until June 20, 2021. Concurrently, Littwitz presents a solo exhibition, “A High Degree of Certainty,” at the Center for Contemporary Art (Tel Aviv, IL).
Ella Littwitz (b. 1982, Haifa/IL) lives and works in Tel Aviv-Yafo. She is a Laureate of the Higher Institute for Fine Arts in Ghent (HISK) in 2015 and received her BFA from Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design (Jerusalem, IL) in 2009. Littwitz has exhibited in various venues throughout Israel, Europe, and the US, including the 6th Moscow Bienniale’s Special Program, the 12th Istanbul Biennial, Salzburger Kunstverein (AT), and the Herzliya Museum of Contemporary Art (IL). She exhibited at the Center for Contemporary Art (Tel Aviv, IL), the Petach Tikva Museum (IL), and at the Tallinn Kunsthall (EE). Littwitz received the Igal Ahouvi Award Exhibition for the Most Promising Artist (IL), the Botin Foundation Prize (Santander, ES), the Arbeitsstipendium Stiftung Kunstfonds (Bonn, DE), the Mitchell Presser Excellence Award granted by Bezalel Academy (IL) and the America-Israel Cultural Foundation scholarship. She was also invited for a 3-month residency in the Guggenheim Foundation (Zurich, CH), which led to a solo exhibition at Kunst Halle Sankt Gallen (CH) titled “The Promise.”