Text from the catalog "THROUGH", 2004
"Tel Aviv Artists' House"


The net is a prolongation of emptiness. It functions both as a barrier and as a passage. It reminds one of glass (used before in Millo's work) as it enables a "seeing-through" and simultaneously functions as a dividing screen. It enables a blurring of reality, it enables transparency. The spectator may choose whether to look through the net or to focus on the image - a significant obstruction - cast on it. Eyeing it carefully the spectator discovers the layering and materiality of the painting.


"Or who shut up the sea with doors"- this is verse number 8 from Job, chapter 38. In this chapter God reveals himself before Job, the heretic. This vision consists of descriptions of the wonders of nature and the world created by God. The image in this verse is extremely visual and it prompts thoughts on painting.

Millo's cork works refer also to the idea of limits, doors, borders. Millo uses the Hebrew word "gvulot" ("limits" or "borders"), to create physical borders in the works themselves. The idea of using a net instead of canvas preceded the use of the verse "or who shut up the sea with doors." First there is an idea of the actual material work and only later for the words and verses that suit that idea. "I'm constantly working on the issue of concealment. To conceal is important but so is the will to reveal -- to see through. The creative process begins with a strong artistic/visual urge. Only later I look for a metaphor, for words, for something which turns me on and adds a new dimension to the work."

"He stretcheth out the north over the empty place, and hangeth the earth upon nothing (in Hebrew 'bli – ma')." (Job, chapter 26, verse 7.) This is an extremely powerful sentence which describes the place where we live in. Existence itself hangs on nothing. On the one hand our existential situation provides no sense of security, since there is nothing to hang on to. On the other, the verse evokes the idea that the world is emptied of its physicality and what remains is the possibility of reaching consciousness. In the year 2002, Millo wrote this sentence on glass during a performance she gave in the Israel Museum in Jerusalem. According to one of the traditions, "Sefer haYetzira" is based on this verse and there the meaning of 'bli-ma' (nothingness) is a stop, a halt: silence!.

"Why is light given to a man whose way is hid, and whom God hath hedged in?" (Job, chapter 3, verse 23.) God hedges Job in, hides the truth from him. The reader is aware both of the obstacle and of what is beyond. The feeling of being blocked, thwarted, is also a feeling of existence. This is where the glass and the net meet.


Millo's writing is circular - it can be written from beginning to end and vice versa - mirror writing. The spectator of the glass performance watches Millo writing backwards with ease. On her side of the glass the letters are indecipherable. From the spectator's side of the glass, the sentence unfolds naturally. The writing on glass is in real time and allows the eye to see through. These are metaphors about seeing itself. In the performance in the Israel museum Millo exhibited double glass of three kinds: the first transparent; the second made of two sheets of glass with a painting made of clay between them; the third made of two sheets of glass with a net between them. The result was three different levels of transparency. In the last exhibition the net stands on its own and becomes a divider that opens up to the space. If the painting itself is a metaphorical screen, like the canvas, the net or any other material the painting is produced on, then the screen blocks the space of observation.

Millo exposes the spectator to an art which is strongly linked to the culture of the Hebrew language, but is nevertheless open to other cultures as well. Her painting develops from philosophical reflections about the essence of seeing and suggests different possibilities in the act of observation.

Rachel Sukman is the Editor in Chief of "TERMINAL" a review of 21st century art published since 1996, Director and Curator of "OFFICE IN TEL-AVIV GALLERY"