The exhibition “A Ladder Set Up on the Earth” presents the work of photographers Yael Horn Danino & Noga Greenberg. Both photographers are religious women that engage in creative practice alongside their day to day life.
The name of the exhibition is taken from the story of Jacob’s Dream “And he dreamed, and behold a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven; and behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it” (Genesis 28:10). In the biblical text, the ladder symbolizes the connection between sky and land, between the spiritual sphere and life on earth. When Jacob wakes from his dream he looks around and says, “How full of awe is this place!” and immediately sets on casting upon this horrible place the vision of wonder he saw in his dream, determined on bridging between the transcendent and the material world.
Thus, one can interpret the works of Greenberg and Danino as a ladder wishing to connect the spirit with the material world. Given that creative practice is fundamentally abstract, and derives from man’s basic need to understand, to interpret and find meaning in his surroundings. Within that context, it is interesting to notice the specific method that these two artists chose to express themselves through- photography. And more accurately- photography of their day to day life. This is a method that goes beyond symbolism- it is astonishingly truthful and open.
Their chosen subject of daily life, of the banal, of routine moment throughout their days- as women, as mothers, as wives- positioned as frames that demand our reaction- is a decision to place the female experience as a story that should be told. The presentation of both photographers works brings the female gaze forward. Their personal experience creates narrative situations, scenes which may be brought together into a whole life story. Their stance is therefore profoundly different to male photography- which often strays away from the personal, the emotional and the private sphere.