Places to visit
From the concept to the project
When Elio Carmi asked me to create a hanukkiah and explained the history of the Festival of Lights to me, I was struck by the unnatural and miraculous aspects of the event, and by its symbolism too. I wondered what actually happened. Did the oil reproduce itself and last for as long as it was needed, or was it the flame that was always the same, one, the original, the pure oil, repeating its purity and perpetuating it? I chose to concentrate on the latter aspect.
Each day the flame had to be as similar as possible to the original light, not only originating from it, but actually “being” it. Not a place of remembering but a place of essence. I thus had the idea of using a mirror; there is no place for memory between the mirrors, it is impossible to imagine anything as lacking in memory as a mirror.
The flame was not similar, it was the same flame as that of the first day. It was important to repeat the same gesture every day, renew a presence, a belief. Each day a new flame, the old flame, had to be kindled. I therefore arranged the eight mirrors on a paraboloid arm so that one can be turned each day. The light of the first day is placed in the geometric focus of the paraboloid and is reflected by the mirrors onto the line of vision of the viewer. Day after day, a new mirror is turned to create the image of a new light: the old light.