Catalogue of the
Procréart exhibition, May 1990
The reunion of Abraham’s sons
SABAN IS :
WOMAN A MOTHER
To be a woman in Turkey is far from being easy. But what could
Ody Saban have done when one knows that her mother was a Jewish, remarried with
Because she identified with Lilith rather than with Eve, she had to leave.
She arrived in France in 1977 with her dervishes and her Sufist
legends. Her paintings, which are real Ali Baba’s caves, directly refer to the
One Thousand and One Nights’ tales, rich and opulent, and are often even a jumble
like the Baghdad or the Samarkand steps. Behind each eye, each window, each
recess of the painting, hides a possible story. In fact, there is only one story
that Ody has remembered by searching in the depth of her memory, of her mythology.
In a jumble, she draws women with ample breasts, men whose sex is enormous, Babylonian
gods, legendary animals. In a jumble but not at random – nothing is gratuitous
– the signs, the colours, the figures, the arabesques, everything is there to
symbolize, to signify.
Yet, the whole thing remains transparent, the language as well as the colours
– very bright – which allow the spectator to come through the painting smoothly.
At the turn of the century, it is touching to feel such an optimism and so much
All is made to comfort us.
birds fly in the sky, the fish swim in the sea, the woman seeks the man, everything
is in the order that the Creator wanted.