Carmit Hassine – Pupa

This site-specific sculptural installation by artist Carmit Hassine is made of a rich variety of black and white biomorphic objects hanging in the space of the museum library. The biomorphic collection focuses on abstract and changing shapes and is linked to life in nature. It shows the reproductive systems of pupae created through a recurring manual process. The process begins with molds made from clay, followed by layered casts of wax, coal dust and Carrera marble dust. The objects hang from the ceiling like stalactites seeking the ground, resembling a timeless meditative vision in which ostensibly living objects are transformed within an existing space as if in a cave formed of karstic rock.

In the “Pupa” installation, Hassine creates an alternative holistic space in which the material body and its internal/spiritual existence become a single entity. Like a chemist who examines how different substances interact, Hassine combines and casts organic substances to form new compounds that are simultaneously stable and fragile. Coal—a natural resource that is gradually being exhausted—has a natural tendency to form infinite bonds, creating compounds that can vary from strength to brittleness.

We live in an age in which the human handprint is apparent in all aspects of nature, to the point of blurring the distinctions between them. We can see the consequences of humanity’s ominous influence on nature and are disturbed by thoughts about the climate crisis and the future of biological diversity. In the space between wisdom and doubts, the “Pupa” installation constitutes a symbolic unfolding of the expression of human growth and development within and despite our chaotic reality and existential uncertainty. In this way, we may see the emergence of a new moral code that will enable renewal to arise out of disintegration and allow us to emerge from darkness into light, just like the butterfly emerges from the pupa.

Avital Katz

Exhibition Curator