Heart of the Glacier . 2018-2023
Curator: Leah Abir at Arad Contemporary Art Center
The ground of Iceland consists of layers of fertile pre-historic lava, full of life, formed under the ice. It is lethal when it erupts but also carries the future within it – soil, plants, animals, life. Volcanic and geothermal activity constantly simmers under the mountains, the glaciers, and the sea – whoever is listening can hear it. If we turn our ears to the deserts surrounding Arad, there, too, we will sense the rustling of deep history, hundreds of millions of years that had moved, raised, and sculpted cliffs, canyons, plants, animals, life.
Maya Smira’s camera travels in these two extreme environments of desert and glaciers, gave birth to the series of works “Fata Morgana,” in which she binds together elements of fire and water, ice, salt, snow, and a blazing sun: ice ponds in the Judean desert and arctic glaciers in the Negev. During her residency programs in Iceland and Arad, Smira has been exposed to the extreme landscapes and the temporariness of what seems, on the surface, like eternal, endless spaces. The works also point to the processes of their degradation and disappearance, and the dangers threatening their unique life forms: worldwide ecological changes and the climate crisis.