Naomi Leshem – Sleepers
“Leshem’s fascination in a transitory limbo, a place intimate but unknown, led the artist to limit her subjects in Sleepers to adolescents between the ages of 16 and 20, symbols of prime vitality themselves in a transition from childhood to adulthood. A total of 32 portraits make up the complete Sleepers series, which was shot over four years in five countries; Israel, Switzerland, Germany, France and the United States.
The portraits are brightly lit, belying traditional nighttime scenes. Leshem conceives of the work as classical portraiture, and in a sense these are the purest form of portraiture: faces without pretense, conscious projection or stance, a face even the person asleep has never seen. There is a subtle tension between the concept of the transitory state and its accompanying physical effects – notice the reddish tint to some subject’s lips or ears, the result of the physical process during sleep when blood is sent to smaller vessels in the body.”
The Sleepers project is exhibited at the Andrea Meislin Gallery, New York, until February 18 among Naomi Leshem’s Runways series that shows images of young women just before beginning their mandatory conscription in the Israeli Army. Both projects are part of “Between Zones” exhibition and “speak of a momentary limbo between states, between consciousness and between the milestones of young life”. More information about the event, on the Andrea Meislin Gallery website.