Dani Karavan

Shrine, Israel, 1998

Bronze 45/45/55 cm

Courtesy of the artist and the collectors Brach and Roy Ben Yami

“The sculpture “Temple with Stairs” is premised on a form” says Dani Karavan. Having internalized the substance of that form, the finished image becomes a quintessential structure the entrance to and the exit from which are done by two separate staircases. According to the artist, the meeting point between the lower staircase and the interior denotes a passage from the public to the private, whereas the point of exit towards the upper staircase brings together the holy and the profane, reality and dreams, the inner and the sublime, the terrestrial and the celestial. It is for a reason that the artist sees the cube as a form befitting a temple and the stairs that traverse it, and lead to and from it as a passage between the material and the aspired for. The Temple’s construction was hinged on the principle of the Creation and based on a time-honored vision encapsulating the dual idea of Heaven and Hell, or reward and punishment. Moreover, the Temple also represented the gate of heaven: “and behold a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to the heaven” (Genesis 28:12), and as “Jacob awaked out of his sleep” he realized “this is none other but the house of God and this is the gate of heaven” (ibid 16-17).