Slide Images

1 - Threshold No. 3, 2003
Branch, fossils, glass, bronze
94 cm x 183 cm x 380 cm
37 in x 72 in x 149.5 in

2 - Threshold No. 2, 2003
Sand, earth, bronze, glass, bronze
94 cm x 183 cm x 380 cm
37 in x 72 in x 149.5 in


I spent many nights exploring possibilities of shadows, reflection, refraction and projections: new discoveries revealed themselves.

In Threshold No. 3, a pile of fossils and a dried branch are set on the floor at a distance. Between the two stands a sheet of glass - a separation. But in one sense it draws them closer, and even confounds them, because if one stands in the right place, one can see, in reflection, the pile of fossils in the branch, as if the fossils have just become 'one' with the branch.

Threshold No. 2 consists of a mound of sand which I collected on the shores of the Mediterranean in Haifa and a smaller mound of black earth which I collected in Quebec's Eastern Townships. They are divided by a glass pane.

"[...]in the series Threshold No. 2 - black slate earth, sand and glass installations in which Safdie uses projection and perception as pivotal reminders of the illusory quality of boundaries and of what they reveal. Divided by a glass screen and transformed by light, the palimpsestic 'reading' of two opposing sand piles - their origins in the respective epidermises of Haifa and Quebec's Eastern Townships effaced long ago, or that of a larger, more textured pile reflectively 'embedded' in the crown of an inverted bush - is about alterity, about the almost hermeneutical way in which the 'sum of all that we have been' is at the same time our destiny and our enigma."

- Irena Murray: "Sylvia Safdie: The Inventory of Invention", pg. 24, Leonard and bina Ellen Art Gallery, 2003