Dror Auslander, Yoav Efrati, Ruti Ben Yaacov, Michal Bachi, Shuli Bar Navon, Joseph Hirsch, David Hendler, Samuel Tepler , Sharon Yaari, Boaz Levental, Shiri Lass, Iddo Markus, Iris Nadel, Irmi Adani, Gil Zellner, Hemdat Tzori, Shahar Kornblit, Gilead keydar, Liliane Klapisch, Assaf Rahat, Uri Stettner, Henri shelesnyak and
Curators: Yair Shulevitz and Assaf Rahat
11.7.19 - 18.8.19
This world—with all its noise, overstimulation, erraticism, constant hum of social networking, deception, distraction, manipulative media, and advertising—dulls our senses.
The exhibition's theme was inspired by ostranenie or defamiliarization, a concept coined by Viktor Shklovsky (1893-1994), writer, essayist and one of the founders of Russian Formalism. Shklovsky noted that just as people who live near the sea eventually cease to hear the sound of the waves, we cease to see reality due to its over-familiarity. For him, the purpose of art is to transform the familiar into the strange, thereby enabling the sound of the waves to be heard again or, in his words, to return the stone to its stoniness.
We discern two prevailing characteristics of contemporary art, which in our opinion are related to incessant noise. The first is an attempt to stand out; to be present, the result of the perception of art as a project with large formats, sharp contrast, and intense color. The second is the adoption of external characteristics, which become dominant elements in the art through a forced and illustrative use of an image or text and formulaic that overpowers the work.
We focused on artists whose works crack the window of reality, enabling a renewal in seeing and a glimpse to the beyond. We concentrated on restrained and refined works whose intensity is the combined product of high sensitivity and introspection to the depths of the soul.
The process itself is a significant component in the exhibited works, in which the viewer can find the search; the hesitation; the uncertainty that also allows the element of chance to seep into the work. The lack of clarity between reality and imagination, which is expressed in the vagueness and blurring of images, creates a fantasy and dreamlike quality for the viewer and undermines the familiar sense of reality. The viewers' gaze is displaced from the familiar, causing them to linger and take a second look.
The memory that remains of these works is essentially experiential; non-visual; elusive; fluid. The details can disappear, but what continues to resonate is the spirit of the works so that the sound of the waves can again be heard.
"Only when the faces are blotted out/is it possible to remember anything here in its entirety/only when the faces are blotted out," Dahlia Ravikovitch, "Pure Memory"
Yair Shulevitz and Assaf Rahat