This new group of exhibitions might be viewed as an experiment conducted in the museum space: a pair of male or female artists who had never met before were invited to display their work side by side. These are not joint exhibitions or a series of solo exhibitions, but rather an attempt to bring together two different languages and create a dialogue between them by means of a curating process based on examination of the sources from which each artist draws inspiration. Four curators were invited to participate in the “experiment,” three from Israel and one from Turkey
Veronique Inbar, Elinat Schwartz
Twilight Zone Curator: Ora Kraus
Juxtaposing the works of Veronique Inbar and Elinat Schwartz seeks to elicit undefined, intuitive links that evolve out of the stream of consciousness. The starting point for each of the artists, both of whom use a variety of materials, is their own personal world. For Inbar, it is expressed through vivid coloration on the one hand, and a gray-black monochrome along with an empty white on the other. In contrast, Schwartz produces specially processed photographs and monochromatic installations in which the white shines out from the black. The combination of the two approaches creates a surrealistic, esoteric, and coherent display. Inbar comes from a place of uncertainty and doubt, asking questions that remain unanswered and working in an atmosphere of haziness and lack of clarity. Schwartz constructs a space, a place, in drawing, sculpture, and painting. Her works emerge, as it were, out of a state of blindness, as if she were groping around for them. Both artists deal with elusive notions in a twilight zone, a dream world that relates to things that are unspoken and intangible, a world in which what is revealed is also hidden and unseen.
Buthaina Abu-Melhem, Raya Trinker
Double Stitching Curator: Rina Genussov
Raya Trinker and Buthaina Abu-Melhem both work in what is considered a feminine medium: embroidery and sewing. Abu-Melhem presents two dresses in raw cloth made to look tattered and stained. The dresses are embroidered with lines and shapes and studded with pins, needles, and bits of embroidery from a traditional dress left to her by her grandmother. The rough stitching gives the impression of an expressive drawing or topographical map that is intersected by borderlines demarcated by pins and needles, conveying an intense sense of impermanence and pain. Trinker’s Single Blanket, a work she began a year after the death of her mother, is composed of twenty-eight panels on which the artist embroidered pages of her mother’s diary from 1934-1937, when she was a young girl growing up in Tel Aviv. Also made of raw cloth, it is printed with ECGs performed in the older woman’s final years. Drawing the printed letters meticulously, Trinker faithfully reproduces her mother’s descriptions of her personal experiences and political events in the period before the birth of the State of Israel. The conjunction between the two works raises issues relating to the ongoing Arab-Israeli conflict, while at the same time expressing universal human values.
Halil Balabin, Deniz Rona Curator: Mirey Nasi
At the invitation of the Janco-DadaMuseum, the two young artists Halil Balabin and Deniz Rona, who create in different countries, are exhibiting their video works together for the first time. By employing absurd movements in their videos, both artists encourage the viewers to pause and question what they see, and both raise the issue of audience responsibility by extending an invitation to the viewers to share the experience of the artists, both personal and public. Balabin follows a specific set of internal rules, choosing to “omit” one of the five senses in each of his works, and using real figures from his own life. In Sagi Nahor, a partially blind albino woman blinks vigorously, yet somehow oddly, and moves her eyes from side to side. The framing of her head in the middle of the green screen creates a sense of entrapment. As she looks at the camera in silence, she triggers questions about what she is doing, and leaves the viewers to consider the (overlooked) reality that the subject of the video will never be able to see herself. Rona aims to discomfit his audience by presenting things that make him uncomfortable. Shun! is a video documentation of a performance produced and performed by the artist in 2011 in which he sought to draw attention to the issue of punishment by undergoing a simple form of it himself. His experience leads, in turn, to another experience undergone by the viewer. The work reveals Rona’s interest in the problematic aspects of making unnoticed things visible by confronting the audience with things they look at but do not see or see but ignore, forcing them to become aware of their disconnection from things they are accustomed to seeing.
Doron Fishbein, Doron Wolf
Replay Curator: Raya Zommer-Tal
Doron Wolf presents a work of video art, while Doron Fishbein displays a two-dimensional piece, positioned at a great height, consisting of charcoal drawings on individual sheets of paper which together produce the image. Wolf’s video is divided into three parts. In all three, one frame is virtually static, with the movement created artificially by the artist using a computer. Entitled Spinoza’s Staircase, the video was inspired by Marcel Duchamp’s Nude Descending a Staircase. Fishbein’s work, which similarly shows figures of a man and a woman, “quotes” from the noted sculpture Worker and Kolhoz Woman by Vera Mukhina from 1937. Installed in Moscow, it is a fine example of the socialist realism style. Thus both artists borrow classic models from art history, rework them in a post-modernist manner, and position them deliberately: Wolf’s is installed at eye level, while Fishbein’s is elevated as a reference to the Soviet source designed to compel viewers to look up at it.