Welcome to our first issue of the Fall 2020 Semester. This semester began in an unusual way due to COVID-19 and all of its ramifications. As a result of COVID-19, we all find ourselves in some very unique spaces — physical, mental, emotional, spiritual and beyond. This issue considers the notion of THE SPACES IN WHICH WE FIND OURSELVES.
This issue features works from an array of artists in a range of creative disciplines, all of whom are YU students. The issue is split into two sections, entitled THE PHYSICAL and BEYOND THE PHYSICAL.
THE PHYSICAL explores physical locations, with an emphasis on the city. Urban life encompasses a much greater and diverse population than country life, yet people tend to feel alone and lost in great big city, despite the crowds and hullabaloo. This especially came to the fore in recent months as people were forced to stay at home, being alone despite living in cities with millions of people.
Of course, the physical spaces we inhabit are deeply connected to the non-physical spaces we inhabit, and the second half of the issue explores those less defined areas. In BEYOND THE PHYSICAL, we exhibit works that explore different non-physical states of experience such as emotional, intellectual, mental, virtual, social, and fantastical spaces we inhabit. These worlds can sometimes be confusing to navigate, can change at a whim, and can be deeply personal and are therefore difficult to experience. The works in this section are diverse, in form and content, as they try to grapple with some of these themes.
What exactly do we mean by all this? A good example is this work from Chana Weiss:
The artist portrays a wall of windows, each window opens to a different scene. At times, the viewer is looking out the window, but at times the viewer is looking at the window. Each environment carries with it a certain emotional or conceptual aspect as well. In this issue we’ll be considering this interplay — between the physical and non-physical.
It is our sincere hope that you enjoy this issue, and that it encourages you to think about the spaces in which you find yourself, either intentionally or circumstantially. We invite you to consider in new ways what those places mean to you and how you relate to them. Despite the physical distancing that has become necessary in our current climate, hopefully we can all come together in sharing the creative endeavors of our fellow students.
On behalf of the entire YUJA team, we thank you for perusing this first issue.
All the best,
Aharon Nissel, Editor-in-Chief
Sarit Perl, Managing Editor
Note: This was originally posted to the YUJA website on 10/30/20. It was added to the YUJA blog on 2/8/21. The full issue can be viewed here.