Ghiora Aharoni's The Tablets to Become Part of the Permanent Collection at the Vatican

Dear Family and Friends—

With an enormous sense of gratitude and incredible joy, it is a pleasure to share that The Tablets will become part of the permanent collection of The Vatican Library next week, joining one of the most significant collections of historical, rare and sacred writings in the world—ranging from the oldest known complete manuscript of the Bible to texts on Hinduism.

Click here or on the image below for a short film about The Tablets.

Over two years in the making, The Tablets reconceives the traditional idea of the reliquary as contemporary sculpture, and was commissioned to house a hand-bound edition of the Tikkunei Zohar (an appendix to the Zohar, the writings central to Kabbalah and Jewish mysticism). The sculpture’s form draws from the intricate, allegorical essence of the ancient, sacred book of spiritual corrections within, employing text as a medium to translate the spiritual import of the book’s writings into the visual narrative of an artwork.

The structure of the sculpture is formed from Hebrew text—carved into a solid block of aluminum—from the beginning of the Book of Genesis. The sculpture’s typography of conjoined letters creates an interconnected entity of text circumscribed by one continuous, flowing space—creating a parallel contemplation between what exists and what is absent in both the metaphysical and the material realms.

The Tablets begins with the Hebrew word “b’reishit”—both the first word of Genesis and the subject of the 70 commentaries within the Tikkunei Zohar. B’reishit also begins with the Hebrew letter “bet,” which has a numerical value of two—an allusion to a state of dualities, be it the twin forms of The Tablets that are perceived as one, or a parallel realm where dichotomies have the potential to be unified.

The form of The Tablets may also evoke ancient Cuneiform tablets one of the earliest systems of writing or the original tablets brought down from Mount Sinai by Moses. The Hebrew letters extending from the front through to the back and curving with the rounded form manifest a fluid, transcendent energy that collapses the distance between the ancient and the contemporary into an intersection of spirituality and artistic expression.

As the installation at The Vatican approaches, it carries with it a beautiful feeling of wonder in knowing the metaphorical and spiritual narratives that The Tablets embodies will reside within such an esteemed repository of the written word, which spans time, cultures and belief systems.

With love and light — Ghiora

By Ghiora Aharoni