Requiem for a Bird
The rectangle is a motif that appears throughout Aviva Uri's work, where it serves as a container and as a source from which life flows. In many works, rectangles allude to "hidden tombs" or to "surviving tanks," while in this work they are associated with cemeteries. The death inherent in the act of creation and the act of creation inherent in death are two conceptual opposites that recur in Uri's work; in the "Requiem for a Bird" series, which dates from the mid-1970s and to which this work belongs, these opposites are clearly articulated. The hovering squares in these drawings were described by the artist as "boxes of the heavenly realm and boxes of the earthly realm" (quoted in Gideon Ofrat, "Aviva Uri – Painting as Mask," Sculpture and Painting, no. 15, 1977 [Hebrew]).
In a conversation with Emanuel Bar Kadma ("Who is this woman who draws like Picasso?," Yediot Aharonot, September 4, 1989 [Hebrew]), Uri responded to the question "What do you draw?" as follows: "Anxieties, the anxieties of our times, listening to the news and being home alone, Chernobyl and a noise in the stairwell during the night. Anxiety is an element that is easily transmitted to me. Much more easily than by what is conventionally termed cultural affiliations."
As in most of the works in the series "Requiem for a Bird," here too the artist added a text to the drawing: "Cover up for me / extinguish upon me / console upon me / blood-drenched earth / what will become of you / the quenched earth is silent / requiem for a bird is silent / requiem for a bird is silent."