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Who am I holding in my arms, when I'm holding mom? adi soffer.

Transformations.

Who am I holding in my arms, when I'm holding mom?
adi soffer. april 2007

In Veronique Inbar's "Hug", Maya is seen holding her mom. Actually, we cannot see who Maya is hugging, and we simply interpret the composition as one of motherly hug. But there is no mother in the picture. Maya is hugging darkness, an emptiness that hugs her back. Hugs, holds, not letting Maya go. The mother is the darkest part of the picture. Veronique makes us perceive the situation the same as Maya does. Maya is making the image complete by placing her mother in her arms, and so do we. The first thing we perceive is an ideal picture of a child holding mother; and then, suddenly, we see what Maya cannot –the darkness that holds her. Two states of awareness in one composition. Two states of growing up. The hands of the embracing figures also play a trick on us. The pink nail polish blurs the difference between the hands, and then only makes it stronger. Maya's hand, small and softly holding the other hand, basically forming a closed circuit, and mother's hand, holding Maya, grasping tightly. Again, the conflict that lies at the base of the picture gets enforced: the hug, the closeness, the warmth, as opposed to the darkness and the emerging horror. On the one side: Maya's loving and tender face. On the other: no face, but complete darkness. The distance from our loved ones is the subject of most of Veronique's painting and photographs. The distance that makes it difficult for us to see the ones we hold closest to us. The distance that can sometimes become a character of its own. Is there a bigger horror than to tightly hold and give yourself in to that which we do not know? Than to understand that the one that brought you into this world will always remain remote and indiscernible?

Hebrew