Updated: Feb 21, 2020
In his latest art project, Ronen Raz is engaging in a subject that has interested him for a long time, research associated with things that have gone through the flames, as well as the question of how definite is death after burning?
During the project Raz finds himself setting out to areas that have sustained fires, or locating the remains of campfires from which he gathers and collects remnants. "What is of special interest to me is the burnt tissue of plant material, and sometimes other objects and abandoned fragments that were burned and remain on various levels of decomposition and decay."
Raz takes the items to the studio where he examines them punctiliously, photograph them, and attempt to trace their fundamental nature, who and what they are and were, thinking about their past and the fauna or niche to which they belonged. He then begins a series of physical experiments with the medium with which he works: leather!
"For a long time, I have been dismantling and recycling items made of used leather such as various accessories, fashionable vintage leather clothing and accessories, old damaged pelts and unwanted hides or stock items that made their last journey to flea markets."
When researching the burned organic material, he looks carefully and thinks deeply about the structure of the charcoal, its layers and shades, the unique formations that change from one material into another, the results of the burned wood and vegetal material, and the questions as to whether death is complete. Is it at all possible that some sort of restoration is possible? Can there possibly be transitions from inorganic towards organic and vice versa?
We will continue to follow Raz's project and publish an update in our next upcoming issue.