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Artspace Tel Aviv : Nino Herman : Know This, Fragile Time


Nino Herman presents the exhibition Know This, Fragile Time at Artspace Tel Aviv in Israel.

Nino Herman is driving home. He sees the view, and photographs it. At face value, this is a mundane action taken almost involuntarily. His images reveal a private, personal experience on his way to Nataf in the Jerusalem mountains, on the winding road in the Land of Chephirah, alongside Wind Mountain. The landscape changes frequently, along with the light, seasons of the year, weather, and mood. The series of images entitled Bend presented in this exhibition is not merely a concrete location, a topographic spot on the mountainous landscape lined by pine trees. It is a state of mind that changes perpetually, sometimes even on the self-same day – what was, what will be and what is. The road is empty, not a person or vehicle are in sight, and seemingly wounds the landscape while becoming an integral part of it. Man’s mark on nature. On this road, in 2000, his son Yair was killed in a car accident.

“Nature all around is ever so present, calming, connecting me to the secret of creation, allowing me to pave a different path within. A connection to infinite space. Nature has its own count, its own time, inviting me to join it. Nature connects me to the deep understanding that death and life go hand in hand. The drive home is a journey between the two riverbanks of my heart. It connects me to Yair from a different angle each time. The way home is a walk on the brink, what do I choose for this day, to what will I grant power? To fear, frustration, or a loving outlook. There is no grief or joy in nature, it is simply present by its very nature. What I see is a reflection of myself.” (Excerpt from Herman’s blog, Spaces Within the Heart).

The centerpiece of the exhibition follows Wind Mountain – an artist’s book of poems and photographs published by Cohel Books in 2023. It is a large-scale image taken in 2017 that shares its name with the book. Herman took this picture of the mountain while in motion, as the road has no shoulder, and there was nowhere to park the car. The mountain, sky, and trees blend into one another ominously and chaotically. Several years later, these woods would burn down, leaving the mountain treeless. The image is plastered onto the gallery wall like wallpaper, resonating photo studio backdrops. Unlike wallpaper, which strives to reflect an idyllic panoramic image (and could be seen as trite), the blurred image creates a simultaneous and new inward-outward connection for viewers. It invites spectators on a meditative journey to an inner state of being that is detached from time and place.

Alongside these images, the exhibition will consist of the video Terraces (re-edited in 2023). Shot by Nino Herman in the 1980s in black and white, it depicts Mussa Ibrahim, a farmer from the adjacent village of Abu Ghosh and a close friend of the artist, teaching Herman’s son Yair how to build terraces on the family-owned land on the mountain in the vicinity of their home. The terraces being built on the ground redefine the boundaries of the place, the home, life, and complex relationship between nature and the humans who claim it for themselves. The Japanese Zen song accompanying this video forms a connection to the simplicity of life and the bond with nature, while the harsh sound of rhythmic beating on rocks envelopes the space, giving its own tempo to the ongoing endless dialogue that Herman is having with his son.

The name of this exhibit, Know This, Fragile Time, is found in a poem written by Nino Herman.

Know this, fragile time, you can hear ship horns even when you are not on a pier

Fragile time is the time in the reality in which we move. It is fragile, frozen still, violent, shattering, whirling. Time constantly takes us by surprise too.


Curator: Tamar Eisen Goldstein


Nino Herman : Know This, Fragile Time
28 March – 20 April 2024
Grand Opening: Thursday, 28 March, 2024 at 8pm
Artspace Tel Aviv
Shvil ha-Merets 6
Tel Aviv-Yafo, 6653522, Israel

Nino Herman

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