New Exhibitions 17

Halit Mandelblit – The Impossible Life


Clouds, flames, blackened trees with melted liquid leaves that seem to be on fire—all these fill an environment of seductive beauty and aesthetics taken from the world of animation and computer games. Mandelblit’s work fluctuates between painting and sculpture, describing the devastated three-dimensional landscape of an abandoned field or the remains of a forest after a fire. The installation reflects how a terrifying apocalyptic vision of annihilation and destruction makes itself present in concrete reality and how an hallucination or nightmarish dream takes on a corporeal dimension that at the same time appears both “real” and “artificial.”

As is the case with virtual reality, spectators are drawn into the total space that engulfs them, yet this space is exposed as a hollow, fragile, perishable and temporary theatrical set. The sterile and graphic environment disturbs the peace and quietude due to the gap between its clean formal lines and the vision of destruction and devastation. The artist creates a landscape bereft of local characteristics that is perceived as a virtual or imaginary landscape. For Mandelblit, this environment depicts both the local reality and the globalization in which we live. “Manifestations of destruction and violence are an essential part of our life experience here,” states the artist. “We experience some of these manifestations through screens that generate distancing and alienation. Nevertheless, anxiety and terror have an almost tangible presence.”

In coping with “the impossible life” (the name of the installation is taken from a short story anthology by Argentinian writer Eduardo Berti) and the disheartening state of human existence in a world replete with violence and cruelty, Mandelblit chooses to use distancing, simplicity and a bit of irony. Like Berti’s short texts, this installation also succinctly, inventively and frugally refines a collection of stylized items to produce a world that hovers between surrealism and fantasy and the real world of the here and now.

The exhibition was made possible through the support of Mifal Hapais

Rina Genussov, Exhibition Curator