From the “Vanishing Mansion”

By Sasha Okun

Mira Hermoni’s low-key art seems to me somewhat like the “Vanishing Mansion” out of Alain-Fournier’s «Le Grand Meaulnes» (1913). I call it a mansion because Hermoni’s painting is remote, autonomous… I call it lost because of its placing — aside from the main stream… Hermoni walks through her domain with a manner and lack of interest of a real aristocrat. The mansion she has constructed isn’t like the virtual creations of today’s artistic Luna-Park. It is a structure that will last for ages. Constructed of simple, yet reliable materials… It is a house to last for ages, but one particular period fills the house completely: it hides in the corners of the rooms and in dark hallways, peeks from underneath the bed, lies hidden in the wild weeds of the garden…

Hermoni is a night artist… she sees the world as if ifs filled with secrets and riddles. She attentively listens to the voices of objects. There aren’t many objects, and they keep being used: a table, a grail, an apple, a suitcase, a door, a chair. Every one of those items, aside from being useful, has a huge symbolic potential. Each of them is an archetype, and as such works on our subconscious unlinked to the intentions the artist had or to the viewer’s wishes. Personally, I’m quite sure that Hermoni turns to symbols on an unconscious level; that is why they’re so virginal.

And so the whitening chalice on Hermoni’s table is Socrates’ grail, the Holy Grail, and a mother’s breast. Whether Hermoni wants it or not, her art is thoroughly symbolic: a suitcase, a door, a table, which always has a dish with fruit in it, a chair, which has no occupant and never will; and a flaming blaze, half a century old, reflects on the surface of the painting…

Hermoni’s work is remarkable not visually or technically (with all her refinement, like in Rubinstein’s case, technique has no more meaning here than a serving side, a waiting staff), — it is remarkable because it creates a space, giving the viewer a possibility to populate it with his specters, with his childhood; giving the viewer the gift of a rare opportunity to crack open a door into his own world; a door to his personal lost mansion.