Yesterday, October 7th, I attended Maya Gelfman and Roie Avidan’s presentation of their Mind the Heart! public art project. The artists described how they left their home in Tel Aviv, donated their possessions, and travelled to the United States. Since then, they’ve traveled 365 days and 40,000 miles, relying only on the direction of strangers and documenting their art pieces as they went.
Letting go was a recurring theme in the presentation. In the beginning, Maya and Roie let go of their possessions and old life to come to America, but later, Roie shows a picture of one of his pieces that contained the phrase “don’t let go.” At the end of the presentation, I couldn’t help but ask “let go or don’t let go?” In response, the artists showed me one of their pieces: a wall covered in birds made of yarn (a material used in all their pieces) all connected to a large mass of yarn at the left side of the wall. They explained that this piece was meant to be interpreted multiple ways; you could see it as a ball and chain, or you could see it as a connection, something that moves with the birds. That piece was my favorite; I think the question “let go or don’t let go?” has haunted me for a while, and I was glad to be given more insight into it.