“Collect yourself and reflect, for things are not as you thought following the first notion that occurred to you, but rather as is made clear through reflection…”
(Maimonides/The Guide for the Perplexed, Part I, Chapter II).
The exhibition showcases works by 9 contemporary Israeli artists: Maya Attoun, Yifat Bezalel, Rafael Y. Herman, Yitzhak Livneh, Rami Maymon, Tatyana Nazarenko, Sasha Serber, Guy Zagursky & Shira Zelwer. Eiyna is an Aramaic word for the Hebrew letter Ayin which also means eye.
All the letters in the Hebrew alphabet carry a numerical value known as “Gematria”, which were ascribed a mystical meaning in the esoteric Jewish tradition. The assigned numerical value of the letter Ayin is 70, which is a number of great significance in Judaism. For instance, there are 70 different perspectives of the Torah as well as 70 names for Jerusalem.
The letter Eiyna, Ayin, eye, symbolizes the act of observation and more so, spiritual viewing. Eiyna points at the most important human sense − sight. Jewish mysticism teaches us that through contemplation we can truly see. Through their work, the artists allow the viewer different ways of observing art, one that forces the viewer to not only look at something but also to see it. Other kinds of art are less bound to the artists’ intentions – though the viewer still feels the artist’s presence, there is more room for his eye and mind to roam. Eiyna, Ayin, our eye, is the link through which one can see beyond the form and colour. This contemplation is what allows one to see into the heart of an artwork