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Zelig Segal
Creation's Details
Title: Kadosh, Kadosh, Kadosh/Cup of Elijah the Prophetl
Year: 2000
Dimensions: 25x15x15 cm.
Material: Brass, pressed and joined


When I was a child, my parents used to fill the cup of Elijah to the very top; one more drop and the cup would overflow. While the grownups were making sure to pour exactly the right amount, we, the children, would challenge the sanctity of the situation by shaking the table legs, and making the wine spill. I remember this prank as an undermining of the borders of sanctity.
I chose to design a cup that is sort of my own private joke on the topic of exploring borders. I also took the liberty of deviating from my own inner structures characterized by a minimalist design corresponding with the object’s functional requirements. This time I created an object which is seemingly functional, but which in actuality, one cannot drink from. Clearly, its advantage is its ability to keep the tablecloth clean, especially if a child like me is in the vicinity.
The cup has a profile, a front and a back. From the back, its complexity is only alluded to. On the other two sides, it is fully revealed. The cup has three three-dimensional shapes over its base. The number three alludes to the three repetitions of the word “kadosh” – when one recites, kadosh, kadosh, kadosh in the kedusha prayer, one lifts up on one’s tiptoes in a striving upward. The spaces formed between the shapes produce additional formal aspects: one space is created between the cup and the base, and the other – between the inner and the outer cup. The two containers in the cup of Elijah are like two wide-open mouths. When they are full, they double their ability of containment (internalization) and when they are empty, they become two sound boxes that externalize prayer and thanksgiving towards the heavens. The lower container is meant to collect all the liquid that spills from the upper container.
The higher container represents abundance and the lower honors excess. The orb of rings is a dynamic and somewhat airy base, despite the heaviness of the weight on top. The spiral aspires to the infinite, elevates the cup in levels of sanctity. The neck, the linchpin of the cup, represents the hard, physical, uniting base that carries the spiritual container. I chose to give the cup a golden gloss so that the environment would be reflected in it. There is a certain relief in the ability to reflect.

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