Johanna and Me
Shahar Marcus’s virtual exhibition consists of a series of photographs that are combined into a video work. “Johanna and Me” is a collage made up of stills photographs and a poem written by the poetess Hagit Grossman. Both the video and the poem were created during the recent coronavirus lockdown and refer specifically to this period.
The work of Shahar Marcus always includes elements of performance, and he frequently uses his own body. In this work as well, most of the images are taken from photos originally included in aperformance he created in 2005. In that work, the images were projected onto his body dressed in a bridal gown. During the lockdown when the artist was confined to his home, he returned to the original photographs and combined them with Hagit Grossman’s poem to create this portmanteau work” Johanna and me.”
This work projects isolation and loneliness. The photographs depict the artist at work in different places in his home: naked, bathing, dressing, eating alone. The text recited by the poetess tells the story of a woman who is trapped in her home during the epidemic and yearns for an imaginary and unattainable lover/artist. The combination of these male body images with the voice of the poetess does not necessarily herald the possibility of a meeting between the two. The ripped text merges with the images, suggesting several possible interpretations: Is this the poetess’s longed-for lover or is it simply a fantasy? Or does this merely represent the artist’s self-relationship and self-love?
Raya Zommer Tal