Sharon Poliakine

Untitled, Israel, 2006

Oil on canvas,
90X190 cm

Courtesy of the artist and Gordon Gallery, Tel Aviv

Sharon Poliakine’s lesson in anatomy slices up a reclining body with hands thrust into it. The body may be alive or dead. The hands may be healing or harming. The image represents the confusing encounter rooted in issues of trust and acceptance, in the individual’s dependence upon decision-makers.  With merciless precision, her image conveys the helpless sensation of the individual vis a vis society, in a country binding the wounds of its ongoing bloody war.

Poliakine corresponds with Rembrandt’s gloomy "The Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Tulp" (1632) but who is it who lies now upon the operating table painted in Mediterranean turquoise? What is the distance between her source of inspiration, between the operating table of that anatomy class, and the combat arena and war wounds in which framework the artist created her work?