Maor Miami is delighted to present Four Species, an exhibition using the work of four artists to explore the rituals of the ancient Jewish harvest festival, Sukkot. Four Species refers to the four varieties of flora synonymous with the human spine (the palm branch ‘Lulav’), eye (myrtle, ‘Hadass’), mouth (willow, ‘Aravah’) and heart (citron fruit ‘Etrog’), held together to symbolize the unity of body, spirit, scripture and memory. The continuous cycles of life and death, the nature of impermanence and migration, and how the practice of making art as an intellectual and contemplative pursuit which may somehow stall or pause the inevitable movement of organic decay are all traced through seamless dialogue between the artists’ works.
The observance of Sukkot is derived from the book of Leviticus, in which the Jewish people were commanded to ‘live in booths for seven days…so that you will know, for all generations, that I had the Children of Israel dwell in Sukkot when I took them out of the Land of Egypt…’ (Leviticus 23:42-43). The Sukkah is erected each year during the harvest period as reminder of the shelter and comfort provided by divine intervention from the perils of the Judean desert; to be treated as a home versus a temporary living space. Every custom and the artifacts associated therein dictates their composition must be of organic matter: the Sukkah’s roof, the ceremonial plants, the gains of the harvest and the inhabitants, themselves. The works in Four Species prominently feature both direct and indirect aesthetic citations to the volatility of organic matter, yet capably highlight the triumph of natural and human life beyond its presence in the physical world.
Loriel Beltran, Catalina Jaramillo, Joe Segal and Shelter Serra’s work manifest the essence of the religious celebration towards a broader audience: a unique consideration within the Sukkah, itself and moving indoors to the gallery space. A repurposed wooden wall acts as part of the Sukkah’s physical structure, a resin cast of the actual Four Species, two highly finished aluminum-implanted wooden beams hung side by side, and a meditative performance will act as visual suggestions. This exhibition invites the public to experience quiet, but critical engagement.
Four Species is curated by Jon Feinstein (Co-Founder and Curatorial Director of the Humble Arts Foundation, New York) and Shana Beth Mason (Miami-based art consultant and critic) for Maor Miami, a non-profit exhibition space which encourages spiritual exploration and growth through creative expression, comprised of three key principles: Art, Light and Soul. As part of a series of events for Sukkot starting October 12th, Four Species will open with a special reception on the evening of October 18th at 7pm. The exhibition will run until November 12th. Complimentary cocktails are provided to exhibition patrons/viewers.