Art on Fire: 13 Artists

 

Art on Fire: Art at the stake, art at stake, art as a pressing, central, living discourse.
Art on Fire: The yearning for a scorching, fire-breathing, thought- and emotion-provoking art.
Art on Fire: Art in the shadow of war, under occupation, in light of the Occupation.
Art on Fire: Young art, stewing, accumulating aromas and scents—evolving, becoming art.
Art on Fire: Local, Israeli art in the open air, like meat on the grill, like barbecue…

 

The exhibition Art on Fire presents thirteen young artists, whether in actual terms or by definition: most of them are recent graduates of different departments or MFA students at the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design; two are older artists, but "young" in terms of public exposure. The exhibition features artists from various disciplines: those who emerged from the language of art and have embedded it with private codes, and others who hail from tangential disciplines, such as ceramics, glass, or goldsmithing, introducing different thinking modes and impressive skills. Ostensibly, there is no stylistic or thematic, nor material or conceptual common denominator among the participating artists. After many years of theme-oriented curatorial practice during which I worked in reference to the traces of kibbutz ideology or Nahum Gutman's legacy, in this exhibition I endeavored to preserve the initial moments of encounter with the artworks: the moments in which my curiosity was aroused and something emotional coalesced within me in their presence. The moment that triggered in me, as a viewer as well as a curator, the passion to continue observing them, to contemplate them, and feel the syntactic tension that is to be created between them.
In retrospect I can say that the exhibition explores the curator's taste and modes of interpretation: Is it possible to disregard the latent interpretation which lurks behind things? Is it possible to avoid the all-encompassing, identifying gaze repeatedly drawn to the same frequency? Well—I am trying to identify my private frequency: the presence of something disturbing, unsettling, disconcerting, alongside the sense of affluence stemming from the ingenuity, pungency, and expressive capacity. Art which is formulated from within itself, yet equally strives for other realms. A borderline object conscious of its power and weakness at one and the same time. Another step: the constant friction between the intimate and the political, the quick jolt between exterior and interior, between the personal and the general—an attempt to touch upon the tension underlying the strange, harsh, painful and tangled place in which we live, a place which oscillates between the barbecue culture illusion centered on the grill fire and a fire-zone reality which involves endless violence and death. And consequently—the gaps of landing into the everyday: the candlestick smoke versus the barbecue smoke. A foolish attempt to mark a territory alongside an experience of transience and disintegration; a will to defend oneself, to delineate boundaries and privacy alongside an experience of powerlessness and renunciation. The intimate, the political, and the art created and formulated in-between them; a dialogue that forms between a curator and an artist; a stop off and lingering point along the endless course of wandering between works of art, in a Mediterranean cultural space which, in spite of all, generates good, young, fascinating art.

 

Thanks to all the participating artists. Thanks to Contemporary by Golconda for the opportunity to curate an exhibition in this unique space.

 

Tali Tamir
October 2010


Art on Fire: 13 Artists

Adi Bar - Shachar Cohen - Moria Eder-Plaskin - Sigal Friedkes - Avner Gavrieli - Adva Karni - Elli Kopelevich - Eyal Pinkas - Shani Priness - Chaya Rukin - Ester Shneider - Noam Ventura - Yaara Zach

Curator: Tali Tamir