Tag Archives: Photography

Musée Magazine Reviews Yishay Garbasz

“…Only in the mirror inside you can you see outside of yourself,” says British- Israeli artist Yishay Garbasz, holding up this mirror through her career-spanning investigations of trauma, womanhood, and identity. Many artists base their works on victims of “marginalized identity,” a subject that often produces powerful and evocative artwork. Women’s Art Doesn’t End at the Outer Labia is Garbasz’s photographic ode to“marginalized identity” in all its conceptual forms. Garbasz confronts taboos of trauma, memory, and identity—using herself and her past and the locations of historic tragedies as subjects—presenting them boldly with sincerity.

Much of Garbasz’s work focuses on reconceptualizing trauma. “Seeing who I am is only the beginning of my growth as an artist, as my identity has been forged by the trauma I inherited from my mother and her experiences in the Holocaust,” Garbasz says. The continuous narrative of her photography is the multigenerational impact of trauma; her pieces infused with memories of events that she or the viewer may not have experienced firsthand, but that continue to dwell in places and minds—her works a study of these moments’ longitude.

Included in this cross section of her works are pieces pulled from Bearing Witness, a series of projects in which Garbasz captured the aftermath of immense or historic tragedy. This includes Fukushima Prefectural Ono Hospital (2013), a still of an empty hospital taken two years after Japan’s Fukushima Prefecture was devastated by failure of three nuclear reactors. Her landscapes are devoid of life yet somehow buzz with the ghostly imprint of humanity. Garbasz wields memories into tangible subjects, requiring of her viewers a certain patience and care to fully understand the depth of her works.

Emotional disturbance comes first in the layered process of appreciating her works. Viewers can sense the melancholia, the strength of memories. Pieces like Footsteps (40) from In My Mother’s Footsteps (2004-2009) beckon the viewer alongside Garbasz as she traces her mother’s life during the Holocaust. By viewing places from her mother’s harrowing life, viewers are pulled deeper into an exploration of Garbasz evoking true humanity and sincerity. Even without a context of historic events, Garbasz’s works hold the power of memory and emotion. Eat Me Damien (2011) displays Garbasz’s own testicles, preserved in formaldehyde after her gender affirmation surgery. Garbasz invites viewers to experience the deeply personal images that contribute to her identity and memories, to work harder to fully understand her.

Garbasz continues conceptualizing what is “inside” both herself and others. In displaying this variety of photographs together, the message of each collection transforms into a more contemporary idea of identity. She affords the same care and personalization to a still landscape as she does some of her most vulnerable memories. The intertwining of the two suggests that lasting impacts of trauma and memory continue, even in conditions where life’s vibrancy has stopped.

Women’s Art Doesn’t End at the Outer Labia will be on display at Anita Rogers Gallery, 494 Greenwich Street Ground Floor, New York City, through June 18. Visit their website for more information.

By Nikkala Kovacevic

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Fine Art Miracles Names Garbasz Artist of The Week

For the month of June, FAM’s Artist Spotlight Series will be celebrating Pride Month!  Our featured artist of the week is Yishay Garbasz. Yishay is a Berlin based trans woman artist whose multidisciplinary work includes photography, film, and installation.  She explores topics such as memory, trauma, marginalization, gender, intersectionality, and neo-fascism.

Yishay has worked with communities affected by war and has experienced disability, abuse, and trauma. She refers to trauma, disability, and other marginalizing attributes as invisible, because unless one is experiencing them, they tend not to see or acknowledge them.  She centers the voices of the marginalized in order to make the invisible visible.

Yishay recently worked on a smaller, more personal project to help a friend during hard times.  She painted the words “I am loved” in reverse on a shirt, so that when her friend looked in the mirror, she would be able to see herself and the message and know she was loved. Yishay’s work covers so many important topics, and I encourage you to learn more about her. Please also know that you are loved, and don’t forget to check back all month for more Pride Month Artist Spotlights!

By Christine Snyder

Pictured above: Yishay Garbasz, Footsteps (48) from In My Mother’s Footsteps, 2004-2009, C-print, 32 7/8″ x 54 3/4″

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Womenly Magazine Reviews Garbasz

Yishay Garbasz is a Berlin-based interdisciplinary artist whose work, for over two decades, has explored the “cultural specific inheritance of traumatic memories.” We visited her most recent exhibition, Women’s Art Doesn’t End at The Outer Labia, at Anita Rogers Gallery in NYC upon its opening in May. The exhibition explores geographical sites left in the wake of war, terror, and significant moments in her life during some of the darkest parts of history. Images of Japan’s Fukushima Prefecture, the site of the second most catastrophic nuclear disaster in history (second only to Chernobyl), and moments from her mother’s lived experience during the holocaust both appear across the gallery walls.

Meeting Garbasz for the first time leaves you with a certainty that her work is derived from somewhere profound and brave. In 2010, her exhibition Becoming appeared at The Busan Biennale in Busan, South Korea. Described as a straightforward look at gender affirmation and the gaze on transgender identity in our society; from language to body image and making early fashion choices.

Women’s Art Doesn’t End at The Outer Labia portrays the real intimacy of the human body and the physical space it takes up. The combination is her work. A lesson in symbiosis.  Eat Me Damien, a piece on display at the very front of the gallery, displays Garbasz’s testicles, removed during a gender affirmation surgery and preserved in formaldehyde. An opposite wall holds a larger than life barbed-vagina, which Garbasz spent long hours installing in the gallery just days prior to the opening.

The exhibit creates heavy moments for the viewer, challenging you to place yourself in these dark moments. Breathing them in as you dare to see further into what they represent. Provoking strong emotional reactions whether they’re intended by the artist or not. Her work challenges us to see humanity for what it is. Even when we have our own ideas of what people, places, and events represent throughout time. Women’s Art Doesn’t End at The Outer Labia feels deeply personal. Emitting the pain and raw energy that can be marginally felt within her photography and installations.

Women’s Art Doesn’t End at The Outer Labia is on display at Anita Rogers Gallery at 494 Greenwich Street until June 18, 2022.

By Attia Taylor

Pictured above: Yishay Garbasz, Untitled Vagina, 2022, Barbed wire and Razor Wire, 113″ x 69″ x 15″

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Artnet Highlights Yishay Garbasz

Yishay Garbasz’s images explore themes of gender, trauma, and memory. Through depictions of sites of trauma and violence, and explorations of gender and identity, Garbasz shines light on people, places, and memories that are often overlooked, presenting them with clarity, compassion, and pride.

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